The Intake/Grand Jury Division is responsible for reviewing all criminal cases filed by any police or law enforcement agency, including Federal authorities, where the crime occurred in Dallas County. The attorneys and staff handle in excess of 80,000 cases a year, and that number is steadily rising.
Our lawyers very often work with law enforcement early in an investigation, assisting the authorities with legal information and advice well before the case is ever filed. Division attorneys frequently travel to the various agencies in the County, meeting with officers on an individual or group basis, to provide legal education. We try to insure that agencies file only quality cases, and that any charges filed are the appropriate ones.The attorneys must also examine every misdemeanor and felony offense filed for both legal and factual sufficiency, rejecting those cases where one or the other of these is missing.
In fulfilling the mission of the District Attorney’s Office, and of all prosecutors, to do justice, we look not only for cases that should be filed, but also for those that should not be filed. Once misdemeanor offenses are accepted, the attorneys must draft the pleadings, and forward the completed cases to the courts for prosecution. Once felony offenses are accepted, the attorneys forward the cases to the Dallas County Grand Jury for their review. One of our attorneys will present each felony offense accepted by our Office to one of the four sitting Grand Juries, and if the Grand Jury agrees that the charges should proceed, they will return an indictment.
Our attorneys must then prepare the indictment and supporting documentation for each case, obtain the Grand Jury Foreman’s signature, and deliver the indicted cases to the district courts for prosecution. Division attorneys regularly meet with defense attorneys to go over the allegations being made against their clients, before the cases are presented to a Grand Jury. We also handle several diversion programs, moving defendants’ cases out of the State criminal justice system, where that is in the best interest of both the defendant and the public.