WHAT WE DO
In this office, Deputy District Attorneys prosecute all felony cases for crimes committed within San Diego County and all misdemeanor cases where the offense occurs outside the City of San Diego.
The work undertaken by Deputy District Attorneys is multi-faceted and demands highly developed educational and professional skills. Deputy District Attorneys must possess a minimum of seven years of undergraduate and post-graduate training, have passed the California Bar Examination, and be otherwise eligible for State Bar licensure. Deputy District Attorneys litigate jury and bench trials in the Superior Court of the State of California carrying the burden of proof and required to persuade a unanimous jury “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Increasingly, the success of that litigation turns on specified skills in evidence and procedural due process. Given the increasing number of cases going to trial and the focus of defense cases on evidence exclusion, the success requires mastery of areas as disparate as search and seizure standards and DNA admissibility.
The most important work of Deputy District Attorneys is behind the scenes and less visible, and includes the following: (1) investigating the police and possible constitutional breaches; (2) training law enforcement personnel on matters of law; (3) requests for search warrants; (4) screening and evaluating cases – deciding whether a case will be filed and what charges will be included; (5) negotiating cases and, often determining, actual punishment under determinate sentencing standards; (6) arranging for the extradition of criminals arrested in other jurisdictions; (7) monitoring the parole hearing release of existing prisoners and advocating in the public interest; and (8) appellate work, particularly where immediate writs are sought during the course of trial.
In addition, Child Support Enforcement Attorneys perform civilly to collect child support generally for impoverished children, enforce political, environmental, and unfair competition statutes, and a host of white collar crime offenses.
Deputy District Attorneys are assigned specialized tasks, including efforts designed to enhance public safety through prevention, targeted problems, deterrence, or education. Hence, Deputy District Attorneys increasingly work with police and regulatory agencies on a variety of tasks, including special units to attack welfare and insurance fraud, gangs, domestic abuse, and career criminals.