The District Attorney’s Office has a very important partnership with law enforcement, but we are separate entities with different duties and responsibilities. Local law enforcement agencies are responsible for investigating allegations of criminal conduct. The duration and intensity of those investigations depend on the type of crime being investigated.
Once the investigation is complete, the law enforcement agency submits the case to the District Attorney's Office for review. The type of crime that is alleged will determine which prosecution team, described below, will handle the case. To provide better continuity and service to victims, every prosecutor in the Clackamas County District Attorney's handles their assigned cases from the charging stage through to the cases' conclusion. Vertical prosecution has shown to improve conviction rates, reduce victim trauma, and provide more consistent, appropriate sentencing.
Teams and Programs
The Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office has 30 Deputy District Attorneys, three investigators, seven child support agents, ten victim advocates and over 30 people on our administrative team who serve the community in many ways. Deputy District Attorneys are first and foremost trial attorneys, but we have many other functions such as charging and negotiating criminal cases and staffing numerous courts appearances every day. Deputy District Attorneys, Victim Advocates and our investigators are on call 24 hours a days, 7 days a week to provide support to law enforcement and crime victims, whether it be reviewing search warrants, answering legal questions, or responding to major crime scenes or hospitals to help victims in crisis. Our staff are assigned to the following teams and specialty programs:
Felony Person Crime Team
This team is comprised of five experienced attorneys who prosecute all sexual assault, child abuse, kidnappings, attempted murders, stalking and other serious assaults. This team works closely with law enforcement and other community partners to ensure the most serious offenders are held accountable, and the most vulnerable members of our community are protected
Property, Drug and Major Vehicular Crime Team
This team is comprised of ten deputy district attorneys who prosecute a variety of serious felony property and drug crimes, including financial crimes against vulnerable adults, Burglary, Theft, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Arson, Animal Abuse and possession and delivery of controlled substances. This team also provides prosecutorial support to the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, which investigates large-scale drug trafficking organizations operating in the metropolitan area. Finally, the deputy district attorneys on this team prosecute major vehicular crimes that cause death or serious physical injury and provide around the clock support to major vehicular crime investigators throughout the county by responding to crime scenes and providing legal advice.
Domestic Violence Team
This team is comprised of four deputy district attorneys who specialize in prosecuting crimes of violence perpetrated against family members and intimate partners. This is a specialized and challenging area of prosecution and this team trains law enforcement and engages with community partners to ensure victims are safe. See additional information about Domestic Violence related resources.
This team is comprised of two deputy district attorneys who prosecute juveniles accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses. This team works closely with the Clackamas County Juvenile Department to ensure the goals of juvenile justice are met, including reformation of the youth involved and accountability.
This team is our most active trial unit and is comprised of six deputy district attorneys and several court-certified law clerks who prosecute misdemeanor offenses such DUII's, thefts, assaults, automobile break ins, animal abuse, fish and game violations and stalking offenses. This team also represents Clackamas County at involuntary commitment hearings that result when individuals are placed on mental health holds.
Family Support Team
The Family Support Unit is comprised of two deputy district attorneys and a team of eight case agents who ensure children and families receive necessary financial support from the parent responsible for making those payments. The Family Support Unit pursues contempt actions and criminal prosecution against those who repeatedly fail to honor their financial obligations to their children. Learn more about additional assistance from our Family Support Unit.
Specialty Courts and Programs
The District Attorney's Office works with the Clackamas County Circuit Court, the probation department and county social service agencies to run specialty courts that provide intensive supervision to offenders. These courts offer the chance at reducing recidivism in offenders who have committed certain types of crimes due to addiction or mental health issues. These specialty courts include Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Community Court, LEAD, DUII Court and the Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing Program. The District Attorney's Office assigns a specially trained deputy district attorney to each specialty court to ensure continuity in operations. Additionally, the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office assigns DDAs to specialize in areas of Human Trafficking, Stalking and Animal Abuse.
Investigators / Major Crimes Team
The District Attorney’s Office has three investigators who are certified through DPSST. The lead investigator also manages the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team, which is a partnership with local law enforcement agencies who pool their resources to investigate homicides and other major crimes in Clackamas County. There is a deputy district attorney on call at all times to lend legal support to the Major Crimes Team. Homicides occurring in Clackamas County are normally prosecuted by two experienced deputy district attorneys.