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          Office Overview

 



Article V, Section 18 of the Idaho Constitution creates the office of the county prosecuting attorney.  The Idaho Constitution requires that the prosecuting attorney be a practicing attorney and a resident and elector of the county for which they are elected.  It also states that the prosecuting attorney shall perform all duties prescribed by law and receive such compensation for services as shall be fixed by law.

Article XVIII, Section 6 of the Idaho Constitution empowers the county commissioners to appoint such deputies and clerical assistants as the business of the prosecuting attorney may require. 

STATUTORY DUTIES

The primary statutes relating to the office of the county prosecuting attorney are set forth in Title 31, Chapter 26 of the Idaho Code.  The title of each of the statutes in that chapter is set forth below.  You can read each of the statutes by clicking on the number that corresponds to the statute title.

31-2601   QUALIFICATIONS
31-2602   DEPUTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS -- APPOINTMENT, SALARY, AND                   QUALIFICATIONS
31-2603   SPECIAL PROSECUTOR -- APPOINTMENT
31-2604   DUTIES OF PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
31-2605   RECEIPTS FOR MONEY COLLECTED
31-2606   PROHIBITIONS
31-2607   ADVISER OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
31-2608   COUNTY STENOGRAPHERS -- COMPENSATION
31-2609   COUNTY STENOGRAPHERS -- DUTIES
31-2610   COUNTY STENOGRAPHERS -- TRAVELING EXPENSES
31-2611   PROSECUTING ATTORNEY'S CONTINGENT FUND -- APPROPRIATION BY                   COMMISSIONERS
31-2612   CONTINGENT FUND -- APPROVAL OF DISTRICT COURT
31-2613   CONTINGENT FUND -- MANNER OF DISBURSEMENT
31-2614   CONTINGENT FUND -- UNEXPENDED BALANCE

The most significant of the duties set forth in these statutes are to prosecute and defend civil proceedings in which the people of the state of Idaho or the county have an interest or are a party, to prosecute all felony actions (irrespective of whom the arresting officer is) and all misdemeanor and infraction actions when the arresting or charging officer is a county or state employee, and to give advice to the board of county commissioners and other officers of the county.

Throughout the Idaho Code, there are statutes that specifically designate the county prosecuting attorney as the public official responsible for enforcing the provisions of the statute.  It would be impractical to list all of these statutes on this web site.  However, the statutory schemes that the county prosecuting attorney is most commonly asked to enforce are mentioned in more detail, including reference to the statutes, at other places on this web site.

SPECIAL ETHICAL DUTIES

Prosecuting attorneys are the only attorneys that have a legal obligation to protect the rights of the other party, namely criminal defendants.  This does not mean that the prosecutor must advocate for the defendant.  To the contrary, the prosecutor should be a zealous advocate for justice, the victim, the people of the state of Idaho, and their community.  The special ethical obligation of the prosecuting attorney is assure that the defendant's due process rights are protected.

Prosecuting attorneys are bound by the same ethical rules as other attorneys.  These are found in the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct.  Rule 3.8 sets out the special responsibilities of prosecutors.

BUDGET

The salary and expense budgets of the prosecuting attorney's office are set by the county commissioners.  Article XVIII, Section 7 of the Idaho Constitution states that the prosecuting attorney's salary shall receive a fixed annual salary to be set by the county commissioners.  Article XVIII, Section 6 of the Idaho Constitution places in the county commissioners the power to fix the compensation to be received by appointed deputies and clerical assistants.  The prosecuting attorney submits a proposed budget to the county commissioners, who then review the budget request and meet with the county prosecutor prior to setting the budget for the prosecutor's office. 

Office Structure

Case load assignments are based on different legal areas handled by the prosecuting attorney's office.  These areas are:

Felony violent crimes against people (e.g., homicides, aggravated battery, etc.)
Domestic Violence cases
Felony crimes against children (sexual and physical abuse of children)
Felony traffic offenses
Juvenile offenders
Misdemeanors
Infractions offenses
Post-Conviction Relief proceedings
Mental commitment proceedings
Child Protective Act proceedings
Extraditions
Civil litigation involving the County
Administrative advising

There is a web page on this site dedicated to each of these areas.  The staff member or members responsible for each area are listed on the web page which corresponds to that area.  You can access these pages from the table on the Prosecuting Attorney home page.

OFFICE STAFF

You can view information about each of the staff members of the Prosecuting Attorney's Office by clicking this Office Staff link

Services
 

Victim Services
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Witness Services
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Criminal 
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Special Policy Areas
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Civil 
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Tribal Issues
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Local Government
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Press Release