District Attorney

Office of the District Attorney Alfalfa, Dewey, Major, Woods, and Woodward Counties

Criminal Case Overview

When a crime is reported, the police are responsible for conducting an investigation. After completing their investigation, the police may submit their reports to the City Prosecutor's Office. A prosecuting attorney then review the case and decides whether to charge an individual or individuals with a crime. When a defendant (suspect) is arrested and taken to jail, the defendant must sign a release agreement before being released from custody.

The conditions of the release agreement include appearing in court as ordered, not leaving the state without the permission of the court, and not having any contact (direct or indirect) with the victim of the crime for which the arrest has been made. The release agreement is in effect until the court case is concluded. If a victim is contacted by the defendant while the case is pending, the contact should be reported to law enforcement.

Filing of Criminal Charges
A criminal case begins when the City Prosecutor's Office files with the court a charging document, called a complaint, against the defendant or a police officer files a citation with the court. That document sets forth the offenses with which the defendant is being charged.

The arraignment is the first court appearance after a defendant is arrested or issued a citation. At the arraignment, the defendant is formally advised of the criminal charges filed.

Entering a Plea
If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, either a trial date will be (settlement hearing). If the case goes to trial, victims and witnesses postponed from time to time. If the defendant enters a guilty plea, the defendant may be sentenced at the time of the plea, or the sentencing may be scheduled for a later date to allow the victims to attend if they have so requested.

The sentencing is the final step in the prosecution, after the defendant has been convicted at trial or by entering a guilty plea. The sentence is the punishment imposed on the defendant and is determined by the judge within the boundaries set by Oregon law and the municipal code, according to the type of crime or violation. The city prosecutor's Office unit victim can make recommendations, but the judge has the final authority.

Restitution is reimbursement by the defendant for losses incurred directly prosecuted. Restitution may include properly damage or loss and medical urinary. At the conclusion of the case, the court may order the defendant to the sentence.