Illinois District Attorneys
Every county in the State of Illinois has a State's Attorney. They are responsible for enforcing the laws of the state by working with law enforcement agencies. Once an offender has been arrested by local enforcement, the State's Attorney office will decide what charges will be filed and will prosecute the offenses in court.
State's Attorney's Prosecution Steps
The State's Attorney, called the District Attorney in other states, has several important tasks to perform in the criminal justice system. They decide the crime to be charged and will prosecute the defendant.
Sometimes the decision is to not charge anyone with a crime because the evidence collected by the police is not strong enough or has been tainted in some way. In other situations, the State's Attorney will not prosecute a crime for political or public interest reasons. For instance, the State's Attorney may not prosecute the killing of another person, because it was done in self-defense.
Once the State's Attorney has decided what crimes to charge, they will then set a bond or bail hearing and make a bond amount recommendation. The judge will make the final determination as to the bond amount, but will often take the recommendations of the State's Attorney's office.
After the bond hearing will come a preliminary hearing or Grand Jury proceeding to determine if a crime was committed and there are reasonable grounds that the accused committed the crime. If the decision is made to proceed with criminal proceedings an arraignment is held to formally charge the defendant. The case then enters the discovery phase where both the State's Attorney's Office and the defense attorney gather evidence. The trial takes place following any pre-trial motions or other pre-trial hearings.
Advice of Counsel and the Public Defender
In the United States, defendants accused of a crime are entitled to defense counsel. If the defendant can't afford counsel, an attorney will be provided at the public's expense. If a defendant is able to hire a defense counsel, they should do so as soon as possible, before the arrest or certainly before any questioning by the police.
Defendants who can't afford an attorney are provided with a public defender, who is usually automatically assigned if the defendant's in custody. If the defendant isn't in custody, they will fill out an Affidavit of Assets and Liabilities at the arraignment hearing to determine if they're eligible to have a public defender appointment.
At any time during the prosecution phase it's possible for the defendant to enter a plea bargain. The plea bargain process is a very important part of the State Attorney's job because arranging plea agreements free up valuable court resources. A defendant who in fact is guilty may receive a better sentencing deal that would be afforded if the case went all the way through trial. However, that isn't always the case and a defendant should rely on the advice of their defense counsel.
Services Offered by the State's Attorney Office
In addition to prosecuting crimes, the State's Attorney Office often offers a variety of other services to crime victims and witnesses. These programs can provide assistance for victims of crimes and will provide information about the criminal justice system and the status of their case.
The Illinois Attorney General
The State Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the people of Illinois. The AG is responsible for protecting the public interest and litigates on behalf of the state, bringing both criminal and civil lawsuits. In addition, the AG manages advocacy programs to protect consumers, promote the safeguarding children, preserve the environment, and help crime victims.
Illinois State Attorneys: Directory
The chart below provides helpful links to Illinois state's attorneys by county.
Greene County State's Attorney
Note: Although we strive to provide the most current contact and website information available for the D.A. offices in this state, this information is subject to change. If you have found contact or website information that is not current, please contact us.
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