In addition to the District Attorney, there are four (4) full-time and three (3) part-time assistant district attorneys who are responsible for criminal and juvenile prosecutions. Assistant district attorneys handle all court appearances, and provide advice
- The assistant district attorneys handle all court appearances.
- In addition, they provide community and school-based education programs and police training.
Aside from court appearances, the assistant district attorneys handle specialized prosecution units such as the CHILD ABUSE RESPONSE TEAM/SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, the JUVENILE PROSECUTION UNIT, the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTION UNIT, and an ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION UNIT.
The criminal prosecution process can be lengthy and require several court appearances, the first being the preliminary hearing. Prior to January 1, 2002, preliminary hearings in Lebanon County were held before one of the seven (7) District Justices spread throughout the county. Because of the diverse geographical locations, the scheduling logistics and staffing issues, the Office of the District Attorney could not attend all preliminary hearings. When an attorney was not present the police officers were required to act as attorneys in prosecuting the case and questioning witnesses.
To alleviate this problem, the Office of the District Attorney organized and coordinated a Central Court system whereby:
- All preliminary hearings are scheduled on alternating Thursdays at the Municipal Building.
- Assistant District Attorneys handle all hearings.
- Victim/Witness staff are present to assist victims.
- The Sheriff's Department transports incarcerated defendants.
The Central Court Program has proven to be an effective method of prosecuting preliminary hearings, saving court time, allowing police officers to be on the street rather than in court, and providing victims with early assistance. Each day of Central Court, approximately 125 cases are handled in 4-6 hours.
Meet the Staff
The District Attorney's Staff consists of several Administrative Assistants, a Scheduling Coordinator, a Receptionist, a Discovery Coordinator, Central Booking Department Coordinator, a R.A.P. Coordinator and an A.R.D. Coordinator. Together they collaborate information that helps the office run smoothly.