What does the District Attorney Do?
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting felony crimes committed in the County. It also prosecutes misdemeanor offenses that occur outside of the City of San Diego. Each year the more than 300 prosecutors in the DA’s Office file about 40,000 cases on behalf of the county’s more than three million residents. The employees of the San Diego County District Attorney, in partnership with the community we serve, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice and protection of the innocent, and the prevention of crime through the vigorous and professional prosecution of those who violate the law.
Victim advocates in the DA’s Victim Services Division help about 13,000 victims of crime every year with a variety of services. The Victim Assistance Program provides comprehensive services to all crime victims, as mandated by law. Mandatory and optional services are provided to crime victims even when a suspect has not been apprehended or prosecuted. The goal of the program is to reduce the trauma that victims experience in the aftermath of a crime. The San Diego District Attorney’s Victim Advocates are focused on providing assistance to victims of violent crimes. In 2016, they assisted 12,789 new crime victims. This assistance included 1,301 crisis interventions and 12,130 resources and referrals. In addition, they provided case status to 6,756 victims and court accompaniment to 1,015 victims. Victim Advocates also assisted in filing 869 applications with the Victim Compensation Board.
In addition, the District Attorney’s Office participates in many crime prevention programs throughout the county, as well as collaborative courts that hold offenders accountable but divert them to programs and treatment that stop the cycle of recidivism. The DA’s Collaborative Courts Unit advocates for the best solutions to protect public safety while transitioning offenders back into society with appropriate treatment and supervision to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. This division provides training on all legal aspects of AB 109 and evidence-based practices and it represents the District Attorney’s Office on the Behavioral Health Court, Central and East County Drug Courts, Reentry Court, Veteran’s Treatment Court, Homeless Court, and Veterans Stand Down. Each of these courts is staffed by a regularly assigned Deputy District Attorney who specializes in the intricacies of that particular court. The Collaborative Courts Division also staffs the multi-disciplinary team meeting for the recently developed Vista Detention Center’s Veterans Housing Module, and provides a link between the team and the court process.