This department functions under the direction of the District Attorney, who is an elected official.
The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office is responsible for the prosecution of all offenses assigned responsibility to the District Attorney by state statute. The District Attorney and the Assistant District Attorneys are available to law enforcement officers throughout the county 24 hours a day to provide advice on legal issues and pending investigations.
In general, the District Attorney has the authority to prosecute all state crimes that occur within the county, DNR violations, wage claims, open record and open meetings complaints, election complaints, as well as traffic and county ordinance offenses issued by the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The District Attorney also represents the public in juvenile delinquency proceedings and children in need of protection and services actions. The District Attorney is a quasi-judicial officer who has the responsibility to seek justice and not simply convictions. It is the District Attorney's Office that ultimately determines whether criminal charges should be filed and what charges are appropriate. The District Attorney is a state employee who is locally elected to serve the citizens of Jefferson County. The office of the District Attorney is designed and dedicated to assist the District Attorney in ensuring that those responsibilities are met.
Victim Witness Program: The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the Victim/Witness Assistance Program. This program provides support and information services to victims and witnesses of crime. The program is expected to be reimbursed at approximately 41% of expenditures. In previous years, the District Attorney’s office has been reimbursed at an average rate of 50%.
First Offender Program: The District Attorney’s Office is also responsible for overseeing the First Offender Program. This program is designed to divert first-time and low-level offenders from formal court proceedings. This program generates considerable savings to the County by reducing court appearances, witness fees, subpoena fees, public defender and court attorneys’ fees and other expenses. The Director meets with program participants and determines the participant’s treatment and rehabilitative needs, helps collect restitution and monitors participants on a monthly basis. Conditions of program participation may include counseling, drug testing, alcohol and other drug assessments, continuing education, employment, short and long-term goal setting, and other conditions deemed appropriate by the FOP Director. Participants are assessed a program fee of $350, which helps offset the expense of providing services through the Firs Offender Program.