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In felony cases, your first appearance may be for the preliminary examination. This is not a trial, but a hearing at which a judge listens to the evidence of the crime and determines whether it is sufficient to require the defendant to stand trial in Superior Court. Normally, just enough evidence is presented to “hold the defendant to answer” in Superior Court. Witnesses are subpoenaed to testify at these hearings. No jurors will be present, since the judge alone decides if the defendant should be required to stand trial on the charges.
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File a police report immediately and provide the police a copy of your most recent custody/visitation order signed by a judge. If there is no court order, contact a lawyer or legal clinic right away for help in getting a custody order from the court. Ask the law enforcement officer to enter your child in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer system as a missing person. You can also call the Colusa County District Attorney Child Abduction Unit at 530-458-0507. You may also be assisted by a children’s organization such as the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678