Every county in Idaho has a prosecuting attorney's office. Other states call people in the same role a district attorney or county attorney. These lawyers play an important role in the criminal justice system.
The primary purpose of a prosecuting attorney is to enforce the laws and represent the state when legal issues arise. They work closely with police and other law enforcement agencies.
When a crime happens, the police arrest a suspect. The police then send the evidence to the prosecuting attorney, who decides if there is enough to file criminal charges. The prosecutor's review may also include having preliminary hearings or convening a grand jury.
But prosecuting attorneys do more than prosecute alleged criminals. They give general legal advice to county officials and departments. Many prosecutors also operate victim assistance programs. They help crime victims access resources such as counseling and medical care. Some counties even have special drug court initiatives led by the prosecutor's office. These programs work to rehabilitate drug offenders.
Putting criminals behind bars is a big part of their jobs, but prosecuting attorneys also work to make communities safer and stronger.
Idaho Public Defenders
Public defenders play an equally important role in the criminal justice system. They give free legal representation to those who can't afford an attorney. They are court-appointed lawyers. The legal services they offer range from misdemeanors to felonies to domestic violence. Public defenders also represent juveniles in criminal cases and children and their families in child protective hearings.
Public defenders are criminal law defense attorneys. Like any other Idaho attorney, the state licenses them. They are members of the Idaho State Bar Association.
Idaho also has federal public defenders. They represent those charged with federal crimes. Their caseload includes multi-defendant drug conspiracies, white-collar fraud, and computer crimes.
Self-help — representing yourself in a criminal matter — isn't recommended.
Idaho Attorney General's Office
At the county level, prosecuting attorneys handle the prosecution of criminal cases. They represent the state when bringing charges against people accused of crimes within the county.
The attorney general's office has a broader, statewide role. It can prosecute criminal cases, but it mostly handles civil litigation for the state's interests. For example, the attorney general may file lawsuits on behalf of Idaho residents in areas like consumer protection, environmental law, and public safety.
The attorney general also provides legal counsel to the state government and public officials.
Idaho County District Attorney Offices
In Idaho, each county elects its prosecuting attorney. Some prosecuting attorneys are responsible for just one county. But others cover several counties within their judicial district. Some counties share a prosecuting attorney. Large counties have a dedicated prosecuting attorney office.
Note: We strive to give the most current contact and website information available for the prosecutor's offices in this state. But this information is subject to change. If you have found contact or website information that is not current, please contact us.
Charged with a Criminal Offense? A Local Attorney Can Help
Are you facing charges in the state of Idaho? Do you have legal questions and concerns? Eventually, you will have to deal with the local prosecutor's office. Before you do, you should seek legal advice to help you better understand your rights and the legal protections available to you. Find out more by getting in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney near you.