What is a district attorney?

What is a District Attorney?

The district attorney analyzes and gathers evidence to determine if there are grounds for criminal prosecution of cases within their districts and presents cases at trial. 

What Does A District Attorney Do in Texas?

A district attorney in Texas has the following duties:

  • Represents the state in prosecuting felony criminal cases
  • Works with law enforcement officers in the investigation of criminal cases
  • Presents cases to the grand jury
  • Represents victims of violence in protective orders and represents the state in removing children from abusive households

Duties of the Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney

The Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney's Office is one of the statutory prosecuting authorities in the State of Texas. The primary prosecuting officers are: The County Attorney which generally prosecutes misdemeanor crimes and advises the county on all civil matters; a District Attorney who prosecutes felonies only, and; a Criminal District Attorney which combines the offices of County and District Attorney. Kaufman County has a Criminal District Attorney with the responsibility of prosecuting all misdemeanors and felonies while advising and representing the county in civil matters. The authority of the Criminal District Attorney is extremely broad. Within his/her jurisdiction, in this case Kaufman County, the Criminal District Attorney has sole discretion as to whether or not a case is prosecuted. A prosecutor can dismiss a charge or refuse to accept a charge on his own volition and there is no appeal.

The District Attorney's Office handles civil matters in addition to its criminal responsibilities. In Kaufman County the Criminal District Attorney's Office advises the county on civil issues and represents the county in some civil matters. The Criminal District Attorney handles all mental commitments, protective orders, extraditions, renders legal opinions to all elected officials in the county and reviews all contracts entered into by the county. This office also has the responsibility of representing the state in matters involving child abuse and neglect and all juvenile matters before the court.

The Criminal District Attorney's Office provides a 24 hour on call system for law enforcement. This allows law enforcement to have access to legal advice at any time. Our office encourages such consultation regarding arrests, searches and the filing of appropriate charges to ensure that crimes may be prosecuted and punished. It is only through such cooperation that our legal system can function to serve and protect our community.