Prosecuting Attorney's Office
The Gooding County Prosecuting Attorney is an elected official and has jurisdiction over all actions, applications or motions in the District and Magistrate Courts in which the People, the State or the County are a party or have an interest. The Prosecuting Attorney also serves as the legal advisor and prosecutor for all law enforcement agencies.
The Prosecuting Attorney prosecutes all felony cases, all misdemeanor cases which are not prosecuted by a city attorney, and juvenile cases. The Prosecuting Attorney also handles other matters including child protection actions, mental health proceedings, and the Grand Jury, and provides services for crime victims.
The Idaho Code specifies that the Prosecuting Attorney be an attorney and counselor at law and be duly licensed to practice in the State district courts at the time of assuming office.
Once a criminal defendant has either pled or been found guilty, we have two duties to perform. One is to protect society from lawbreakers. Second is to help the lawbreaker stop being a lawbreaker. Both duties compliment each other. The first means we might ask for incarceration and the latter means we seek treatment programs.
Our job is not to convict defendants. Our job is to seek justice. I never "win" a criminal conviction case. The defendant simply loses.
Our office is conducted as if we were in a glass jar. We have no secrets. We have nothing to hide. We will always try to answer any questions whatsoever in an open, honest, forthright and courteous manner. If we do not, please let us know so we can strive to do better.
The responsibilities of the Prosecuting Attorney are set out in the Idaho Code and include the following:
- To prosecute or defend all actions, applications or motions, civil or criminal, in the district court of his or her county in which the People, the State, or the County are interested or are a party.
- To prosecute all felony criminal actions, irrespective of whom the arresting officer is; to prosecute all misdemeanor or infraction actions for violation of all state laws or county ordinances when the arresting or charging officer is a state or county employee; to conduct preliminary criminal examinations which may be had before magistrates; to prosecute or defend all civil actions in which the county or state is interested; and when a written contract to do so exists between the Prosecuting Attorney and a city, to prosecute violations for state misdemeanors and infractions and violations of county or city ordinances committed within the municipal limits of that city when the arresting or charging officer is a city employee.
- To give advice to the Board of County Commissioners, and other public officers of the county, when requested in all public matters arising in the conduct of the public business entrusted to the care of such officers.
- To attend, when requested by any grand jury for the purpose of examining witnesses before them; to draw bills of indictments, information and accusations; to issue subpoenas and other process requiring the attendance of witnesses.
- To perform all other duties required of him or her by law.
When a victim of a crime has suffered a loss, we attempt, when possible, to obtain an order for restitution. Restitution is reimbursement, paid by the defendant, for out-of-pocket expenses.
Under Idaho law, the victim is entitled to an order of restitution unless it is deemed undesirable or inappropriate by the Judge, in which case an order stating the reason for the denial is issued.
Restitution is usually made in monthly payments that are based on the defendant’s ability to pay. The defendant is ordered to send payments to the Gooding County Clerk who will, in turn, issue a check and forward the payment to the victim.
Should the defendant be sent to the penitentiary, the Parole Board will decide if restitution is appropriate upon the defendant’s release.
Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program
The Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program was established in 1986 to provide financial assistance to crime victims who are injured as the result of criminally injurious conduct.
A claim for benefits under the Crime Victims Compensation Act may be filed by a victim, the spouse or children of a deceased victim, or other authorized persons, such as a parent or guardian of a victim who is a minor.
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