Indiana District Attorneys

They represent the state and bring those accused of crimes to trial unless a plea bargain is made. While states have different names for the district attorney, the function is the same. In Indiana, district attorneys are called “prosecutors."

A district attorney prosecutes crimes that occur in their district. These legal officials play a vital role in the criminal justice system. 

Every county in Indiana has a prosecutor. Indiana prosecutors don't strictly represent a single county. Instead, they serve specific judicial circuits. Some of the circuits span more than one county. Prosecutors in Indiana are elected to four-year terms.

The Role of the Prosecuting Attorney

The prosecutor is primarily responsible for enforcing the criminal laws of the State of Indiana. They prosecute many types of cases, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies committed within their judicial circuit.

Prosecutors are also responsible for:

  • Conducting criminal investigations
  • Overseeing grand jury proceedings
  • Handling traffic violation cases
  • Prosecuting juvenile offenders
  • Training law enforcement on state criminal and traffic laws and changes to those laws
  • Enforcing child support orders and establishing paternity
  • Assisting victims
  • Investigating abuse, neglect, and exploitation of at-risk adults

The Role of the Grand Jury in the Prosecutor's Toolkit

While a grand jury isn't always convened in every case, it's an essential tool used at the prosecutor's discretion.

The grand jury can be a powerful investigative tool for the prosecution to determine whether to proceed with criminal charges. The grand jury serves as a preliminary body that can issue subpoenas and interview witnesses to assess if there is probable cause for criminal charges. Unlike a regular jury, a grand jury doesn't decide guilt or innocence. But it helps prosecutors determine whether a case has sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. All a grand jury needs to find is that there is probable cause to support criminal charges. That standard of proof is far lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt that the prosecution needs to prove at a criminal trial.

This feature makes the grand jury a strategic asset in a prosecutor's responsibilities. It allows the prosecutor to test the strength of evidence and gain information. This can either strengthen the state's case or indicate that charges should not be pursued.

Contacting the Prosecutor

You may be considering contacting the prosecutor for a plea bargain. Plea deals are an important part of the district attorney's job. Such deals free up court resources and can provide a better result for a defendant when the state has a strong case. Before contacting the prosecutor, it's best to talk to a criminal lawyer. They can provide legal advice and represent you in talks with the prosecutor and in court.

If you can afford to hire an attorney, you should do so as soon as possible. If you can't afford an attorney, you might have other options for legal help.

Indiana Public Defender

The state of Indiana offers various resources for legal representation, especially for those who can't afford a private attorney. Public defender services are available at the county, state, and federal levels. But some counties may not have a designated public defender's office. If that is the case, you can get information on obtaining a public defender from the court where the charges were filed.

Eligibility for a Public Defender

  • Juveniles: If they don't already have legal representation, youths facing delinquency charges are automatically entitled to a court-appointed public defender
  • Adults: If you're an adult facing criminal charges or involved in a case concerning the removal of your children and cannot afford a lawyer, you are eligible for a public defender to handle your legal issues

To obtain the services of a public defender:

  • Inform the judge that you cannot afford a private attorney
  • Request a public defender
  • Supply the court with financial information to prove your inability to pay for private legal services

Federal Public Defenders

Federal public defenders are criminal defense attorneys who represent people with low income charged with federal crimes. These lawyers work for their clients and not the courts.

Additional Legal Resources

  • Indiana Legal Help: This service is operated by the Indiana Bar Foundation. It offers self-represented people legal information on topics such as family law, domestic violence, housing, healthcare, and expungement, among others.
  • Indiana Legal Services (ILS): This nonprofit law firm provides free civil legal assistance to qualified Indiana residents with low income.

The Indiana Attorney General

The Attorney General (A.G.) is the chief legal officer for the people of Indiana. The A.G. is responsible for protecting the public interest. It litigates on behalf of the state, bringing both criminal and civil lawsuits.

The A.G. also has advocacy programs to protect children, consumers, and the environment and help crime victims.

Indiana State Prosecutors

The chart below provides helpful links to Indiana prosecutors by county.

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.

Get Help From an Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you've been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you're likely concerned and want answers. You can get a case evaluation and answers to your questions from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact a local criminal defense attorney who can provide legal advice regarding your criminal case.

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