The mission of this department is to protect people and protect property through just application of the criminal laws. The department works closely with all federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies, other prosecutors' offices, the courts, and the private bar. The department employs a "team" concept when charging and prosecuting criminal cases, which typically consists of a trial attorney, a legal assistant, and the services of the victim-witness coordinator.
The Criminal Department reviews all felony, gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor cases committed outside of municipal and federal jurisdictions for legal sufficiency. Charges are then filed in either Superior or District courts. This work includes handling first appearance and arraignment calendars, advocating bail conditions, search and arrest warrant preparation, legal advice to law enforcement officers actively engaged in case investigation, trials, sentencing proceedings, restitution hearings and appeals.
For a detailed discussion of how the criminal process works, click here.
A criminal prosecution has two primary and closely related purposes. First, we ensure accountability for the commission of criminal acts by individuals. Second, we help victims.
Criminal prosecution is specialized work. It requires technical knowledge of the rules of investigating crimes, evidence, courtroom procedure, and criminal law. It also requires people skills such as sensitivity and compassion, especially when dealing with the trauma of crime and the needs of victims of crime.
The attorneys are aided in addressing the needs of crime victims by the Victim Services Coordinator. The Victims Services Coordinator serves as the central contact for all victims, and assures that their concerns for safety, restitution and sentencing are brought to the attention of the judge at the appropriate time.
Compliance with Citizen and Legislative Mandates for Violent Crimes, DUI and Domestic Violence CasesWe are required to meet several recent citizen and legislative mandates to get tougher on violent offenders. These types of cases are the most complex and difficult to prosecute and seldom result in guilty pleas. We have changed our charging practices to reflect the mandate of the public and the intent of the Legislature, to prosecute all these types of cases without plea bargaining.
The public expects the Prosecutor's Office to prosecute all driving under the influence (DUI) and domestic violence cases without plea bargaining. We make every effort to meet this mandate within the constraints of our budget and staffing limitations