How Is A Case Submitted To The District Attorney's Office?
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 in large part depend on the type of crime being investigated.
Once the law enforcement investigation is complete, the case is submitted 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 office who is assigned a case handles that prosecution through its conclusion.
Teams and Units
The Clackamas County District Attorney’s Criminal Prosecution Team has approximately 30 deputy district attorneys assigned to the following teams:
This team is comprised of five attorneys who prosecute all sexual assault, child abuse, kidnappings, attempted murders 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.59216
This team is comprised of 10 deputy district attorneys who prosecute a variety of felony crimes, including Burglary, Identity Theft, Theft I, Aggravated Theft, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Arson and possession and delivery of controlled substances. This team also provides prosecutorial support to the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, who 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.59216
This team is comprised of four deputy district attorneys who specialize in prosecuting crimes of violence perpetrated against family members and intimate partners, as well as financial and violent crime perpetrated against the elderly or other vulnerable victims. This is a specialized and challenging area of prosecution and this team has a strong investments in helping train law enforcement as well as engaging with community partners to ensure victims are safe.59216
This team is comprised of three 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, that being reformation for the youth involved in this system as well as accountability. This team also has a Multi-Disciplinary prosecutor, who represents Clackamas County on dependency hearings where a child has been taken into protective custody due to abuse or neglect, and prosecutes criminal cases that may arise from those circumstances.59216
This team is our most active trial unit and is comprised of six deputy district attorneys along with 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.59216
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.59216
The District Attorney’s Office works with the Clackamas County Circuit Court 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, Juvenile Drug Court, Mental Health Court, DUII Court and the Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing Program. The District Attorney’s Office assigns a specific deputy district attorney to each specialty court to ensure continuity in operations.59216
Takes the prosecutor out of the courtroom and into the neighborhoods where crimes occur. The prosecutor uses his/her legal skills to work with community policy units and neighborhood and business groups to reduce “quality of life” crimes. These crimes traditionally receive a low priority from the criminal justice system yet they have a significant impact on the “quality of life” in any given geographic area.59216
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. 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.59216