A District Attorney (DA) is the prosecuting officer of a criminal case (i.e., the official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses). The prosecutor's office works with local law enforcement to obtain evidence in cases, initiate criminal charges in court, and prosecute cases to trial.
The DA's Role
If you're facing criminal charges, the first thing to understand is that, even if the DA's office is willing to work with you to resolve your case before trial, they are ultimately your adversary in the process. This means that anything you share with them, or with their investigators can be used against you at trial.
This relationship is one of the reasons why the right to counsel is so important in our criminal justice system as that right ensures that you also have an advocate who's responsible for protecting your rights. In fact, your rights to an attorney are so critical that prosecutors are often hesitant to speak or negotiate with you directly without an attorney present. After all, any infringement on that right can be the basis for a successful appeal if you're later convicted of a crime.
Why Would You Communicate With The DA?
Although communicating with a DA's office can be tricky, when it's done through a criminal defense attorney, it could yield some important benefits for your case. For example, it could lead to a plea bargain deal, which could resolve your case without the need for trial. However, there are times when accepting a plea agreement may not be in your best interests, especially if you have a strong case for trial. This will depend on the evidence in your case and whether the prosecution can prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, all of the elements of the crime or crimes charged.
Reaching out to the DA's office may also reveal their theory of the case and the evidence that they plan to rely on at trial. This is not something they would just volunteer to you, but an experienced defense attorney would be able to pick up on this during any negotiations. This, in turn, can help to shape your defense strategy by, for example, focusing your efforts to discredit the primary piece of evidence used by the DA at trial. This can also give you some insight into your chances of success at trial. After all, if the DA is relying primarily on the testimony of one eyewitness that can be discredited, they may not be able to fully prove their case.
How Can You Communicate With the DAs in Arkansas?
Below are links to some DAs by county. To suggest a resource for this page, please e-mail us.
Consult with a Lawyer Before Talking to a District Attorney
Before you speak with the local prosecutor's office or a criminal investigator, you should always meet with a criminal defense attorney so that you understand your rights and how to protect them throughout the process. An experienced attorney can review the evidence in your case and help you to shape a defense strategy or negotiate with the prosecution to resolve your case before trial. Get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney near you today to discuss your case and get personalized legal advice.