The Marin County District Attorney's Office primary mission is to keep Marin safe and enhance its quality of life. This mission shall be met by vigorous, aggressive yet compassionate prosecution in dealing with those who prey upon our citizens. Protection, Prosecution and Prevention are the guideposts. With integrity, equality and excellence this office will conduct general criminal prosecutions and target special needs through focused emphasis on Family Violence, Juvenile justice and special restorative programs for Adult and Juvenile Drug Court and Mental Health Court, as well as continued Consumer protection activities.
As District Attorney I have organized our office to meet the operational needs and program priorities of the office. Listed below is an explanation and brief description of our operations. The two operational divisions and their constitute program units are all part of one team of professionals dedicated and sworn to serve this community.
Statutory Mandates Upon the District Attorney
Article XI, Section 1, of the California Constitution mandates that each County have an elected District Attorney. The Office of District Attorney is defined by Government Code section 26500 as the public prosecutor whose responsibility it is to attend the courts and conduct all prosecutions for public offenses on behalf of the People. The District Attorney is an officer of the County and also an officer of the state when engaged in the prosecution of crimes defined under State law.
The principal duties of the District Attorney are: public prosecutor; preparation and trial of criminal cases as well as their adjunct proceedings; advising both the Civil and Criminal Grand Juries; the trial and accusations against public officials and investigating and seeking both criminal and civil remedies for unlawful business practices.
The District Attorney prosecutes violations of state law and county ordinances, but not federal law or city ordinances. To assist the District Attorney in performing these functions is a staff of Chief Deputy District Attorneys and Deputy District Attorneys, Inspectors, Clerical personnel,
Victim-Witness advocates, Volunteers and other support personnel.
Organizational Structure - Management Team
The Marin County District Attorney's Office has two operational divisions each reporting to the Chief Deputy District Attorney. Our Chief Deputy District Attorney is Barry G. Borden, who heads the General Prosecution Division and the Targeted Prosecution Division. Until the position of Chief Assistant District Attorney is filled the Chief Deputy District Attorney reports directly to the District Attorney. Also reporting to the District Attorney are the Chief of Inspectors and the DA Administrator. Our Chief of Inspectors is Robert Guidi and our DA Administrator is Peggy Toth.
General Prosecution Division
Head of Division: Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry G. Borden
Telephone (415) 473-6450
This Operational Division has within it the five Vertical Felony Trial Teams assigned to each of the five Criminal Departments of the Marin County Superior Court as well as the Misdemeanor Trial Unit. Vertical prosecution is one of the key organizational components of this office. Handling our felony caseload in a vertical fashion reduces inconvenience to crime victims and law enforcement personnel.
The crimes prosecuted by this office generally fall into two broad classifications: misdemeanor and felony prosecutions.
The most serious offenses are felonies and in order to reduce the need to have a victim retell his or her account of an incident or have a law enforcement officer retell his or her statements or investigative steps in a particular case over and over again, a single team is assigned to a felony case and is responsible for its continued investigation and prosecution.
A future goal is to bring the benefits of vertical prosecution to the prosecution of our misdemeanor caseload. Presently with the exception of domestic violence cases all misdemeanor cases are assigned by the court to a particular trial department from what is called a Master Calendar on the week these cases are to be presented to a jury for trial.
Targeted Prosecution Division
This operational division has seven program units, each focusing on a distinct activity designed to enhance the general mandated programs of the District Attorney's Office.
The program units within this division are:
Head of Division: Chief Inspector Robert Guidi
Telephone (415) 473-6450
The primary responsibility of the District Attorney is to prosecute cases referred by our law enforcement partners in Marin. We have thirteen different local police jurisdictions as well as a variety of state bureaus and agencies that have the primary investigative responsibility for incidents arising in this County or affecting its citizens. In support of these agencies we have ten men and women who are highly trained and experienced peace officers.)
Our philosophy is an investigation never ends with respect to any case prosecuted by this office. Whether a particular case is a general felony, a gang-related incident, a family violence or a sexual assault case, our office has experienced trained peace officers to further the initial investigation by the local law enforcement agency and assist the prosecution team in putting the best and most prepared prosecution before our juries.
When an incident is brought directly to the attention of our investigative team a jurisdictional assessment will be made and the appropriate law enforcement agency having the primary investigative responsibility contacted. Once the local jurisdiction has completed its investigation and a basis for prosecution found then a re-referral to our office will occur.
Although our inspectors will on occasion originate and conduct the primary investigation, those situations are limited. Our investigative staff relies and partners with our local police departments and county sheriff so the maximum investigative resources can be directed to a particular incident.
Victim-Witness Assistance Program
Program Director: Nilda Fernandez
Main Office: 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 130
San Rafael, CA 94903
Telephone (415) 473-6450
In California the victims of crime have state constitutional standing and rights. California voters in June 1982 enacted a constitutional "Victims' Bill of Rights" that includes a right not only to restitution from the wrongdoers for financial losses suffered as a result of criminal acts, but also a right for victims to be heard in criminal justice proceedings. California is one of the leading states in the country guaranteeing that the victims of crime will be heard. It is important for each of you to know your rights and to insist upon them. Your Marin County Victim Advocates can explain in more detail the your rights as a victim.
Each advocate has years of experience and training to assist you in this very difficult and emotionally draining process. To better serve your needs the District Attorney is currently positioning four regional sites in Marin to provide easier access to a Victim Advocate. For now your Victim Advocates are located in the Civic Center in the District Attorney's Office in San Rafael. If the advocate normally assigned to your case is not available and you need immediate assistance be sure to ask for the Advocate of the Day
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