What Is The District Attorney’s Office (And Why You Need a Lawyer Who Understands Its Inner Workings)

The district attorney’s office works to prosecute felony criminal cases while representing the state. The prosecution includes investigation, apprehension, and even prosecution in court. A district attorney (D.A) is responsible for selecting the types of charges made against defendants or those charged with crimes after they’re arrested. They have the power to prosecute different cases, dismiss the case, or divert the individual to a treatment program or facility. They decide who to charge, if they want to offer a plea bargain, or whether to take it to trial. They control the majority of the decisions in the legal system, which impacts everyone across the state.

They often oversee other assistant district attorneys and are considered to be one of the most influential players in the criminal justice system. The position is an elected position with a four-year term and has the primary responsibility of pursuing justice to keep the community safe. Because they are elected, they work for the people. They’re also responsible for determining if any services are provided to survivors of crimes. They also decide if they’ll take your money, property, or personal belongings even if you haven’t been charged with the crime. They can also determine the length of time someone serves a sentence and whether the system treats someone differently based on their class or race.

Their influence isn’t just limited to the courtroom. D.A.s also influence reforms that can reduce over-incarceration and potentially save lives. Although their terms only last four years, they rarely face challengers or hold community forums where members of the public can question them. Without challengers, they can sometimes operate behind closed doors without accountability with their power.

When you’re looking for a law office to represent you and take on your case, it’s crucial to hire someone who understands a district attorney’s office’s inner workings. If they have extensive knowledge about the operations, they can know the right tactics to build a better defense. 

The lawyer will know what to expect with how the district attorney’s office attempts to present the evidence to the jury and judge while they try to prove their case. They often understand the pattern that the district attorney’s office has had in the past with prosecuting people for specific types of crime to ensure they build a more robust defense.

The lawyer you use can have extensive courtroom experience and be familiar with the district attorney’s office’s techniques to ensure they have a more competitive advantage. They’re capable of foreseeing different methods that are used against your case to ensure they have the right techniques that are ready to be used.

Hiring someone who is acquainted with the local courts will also allow you to have someone backing you who understands the judge’s actions and can predict how the jury is prone to ruling. They can use different techniques to sway the jury because they know how they’ve already been influenced by the D.A.’s office.

They’ll also have an idea of how law enforcement works as they prepare a case, which will allow them to monitor how you’re treated. They can guide you through the complicated process and offer insight into what to expect to avoid any surprises.

You can have a higher level of representation with a lawyer who has experience with the district attorney’s office and knows the approach they’ll take with your case to ensure you have a greater defense. They’ll examine the evidence used against you and can also determine if any of your constitutional rights were ever violated. They’ll also help you to negotiate plea deals and find witnesses to prove that you’re innocent or that there’s overcharging that has occurred.