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Frequently Asked Questions

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Who decides what charges to file, and how do they make that decision?

An assistant district attorney reviews cases brought to the District Attorney's Office by law enforcement agencies.  The attorney reviews the reports in light of current law and evidence available  to decided the appropriate filing decisions.

What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is a court hearing in which the defendant is formally charged with an offense.   The defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty at this hearing and is then set for trial.

How can the defendant plead not guilty: when he/she confessed to the crime?

Even though the defendant has given a signed confession, he/she has the constitutional right to a trial.  Often defendants are advised to plead "not guilty" at arraignment so their attorney has the opportunity to file motions in order to receive information about the crime.

If I get a subpoena, do I have to go to court?

Yes.  You must go to court.  If you fail to do so without calling the district attorney's office, the judge may impose a fine or jail sentence. 

What is Crime Prevention?

Crime Prevention is the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it.


The goal of crime prevention is to break the Crime Triangle:

Crime Triangle image

When you take away the Opportunity, there is no crime. And remember the key to your personal safety is AWARENESS. Don’t give criminals the opportunity by being aware of your surroundings.