When a misdemeanor offense is committed and reported to local law enforcement agencies, those agencies conduct the investigation, collect and process any evidence including witness statements, prepare reports and bring them to the Criminal District Attorney Office, Misdemeanor division. In our intake process, a prosecutor reviews the cases to ensure that the elements of the offense can be proven and the case is suitable for prosecution. If accepted, the case is filed by means of a document called a Complaint and Information.
The Misdemeanor division consists of four prosecutors, supervised by a senior prosecutor that is also responsible for all civil and justice court cases. The prosecutors are assigned to the County Courts to prosecute misdemeanor and juvenile criminal offenses that occur in Victoria County. In these courts, the prosecutors handle docket calls, pre-trial matters, pleas before the court, revocations, jury trials, court trials, post-trial habeas corpus matters and motions for new trial. While prosecutors are not investigators, they review the files in preparation of court hearings this can result in the development of new evidence. Preparation includes meeting with the investigating agencies, victims, witnesses, reviewing physical evidence and reviewing applicable legal precedents.
Misdemeanors are divided into three categories according to their level of seriousness:
- Class A Misdemeanors carry a punishment of a fine not to exceed $4,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year, or by both.
- Class B Misdemeanors carry a punishment of a fine not to exceed $2,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or by both.
- Class C Misdemeanors carry a punishment of a fine not to exceed $500.
Penalties may be increased for repeat offenders.