Functions of the Orange County District Attorney

The Orange County District Attorney strives to improve the community we represent by making it a better place to live for everyone by carefully considering the facts and law and exercising appropriate discretion in charging and sentence recommendations.

The Orange County District Attorney’s functions include:

  • Protecting the community with fair and equal justice
  • Seek justice and safety for our communities
  • Preventing crime
  • Prosecuting people who break the law
  • Educating the community on public safety
  • Seeking justice for victims of crime
  • Providing a path to reform and second chances for people who break the law
  • Moral and legal obligation to discover all evidence to an individual charged with a crime
  • Prosecute law enforcement officers who violate criminal laws i.e. use of excessive force, unlawful car or pedestrian stops, engaging in dishonesty or other criminal conduct

Role of the Orange County District Attorney in our Society

The trust between law enforcement and our communities is paramount. The Orange County District Attorney oversees law enforcement conduct every day in evaluating cases and officer-involved shootings in order to maintain public trust.

Policy Positions and Promotion of Initiatives

  • End mass incarceration: use prisons and jail only to protect the public; utilize diversion and programs when appropriate and where completion success is high; evaluate cases based on criminal history, ability to rehabilitate, and victim concerns
  • Establish a Conviction Integrity Unit
  • Establish Recidivism Reduction Units that address an individual’s chances for success
  • Support mental health diversion when practical to address underlying issues with programming
  • Support dual 911 Dispatch with mental health response and training to 911 calls seeking psychiatric assistance
    • Reduce uniformed presence during initial contact and train in de-escalation techniques
  • Establish vigorous training units for all prosecutors, including utilizing the California District Attorneys Association training unit
  • Establish an Ethics Officer to review misconduct by prosecutors; establish process for reporting prosecutor misconduct to the State Bar; county to provide for representation unless beyond negligent conduct
  • Support a policy that all officer-involved shooting medical exams be conducted by independent coroner
  • Preserve forensic samples for next of kin for independent testing if desired
  • Support policies that prevent law enforcement agencies from investigating their own officer-involved shootings
    • Require law enforcement personnel involved in an officer-involved shooting to submit to a blood draw sample within an hour after an incident
  • Support prison and probation re-entry programs including job training/substance abuse counseling
  • Ban the use of carotid holds by law enforcement within the Orange County District Attorney Bureau of Investigation and support the ban across all District Attorney Investigation Bureaus
  • Require law enforcement to announce the use of deadly force if reasonable under the particular circumstances
  • Support the elimination of “No Knock” warrants unless a specific exigency is specifically articulated and a magistrate approves pursuant to the warrant approval terms
    The Orange County District Attorney is required to publicly release all officer-involved shooting reviews in writings, including an analysis of whether force was necessary or other reasonable alternatives were available and suitable under the circumstances
  • Support legislation requiring law enforcement to intervene to de-escalate in situations involving other officers and to report to Department in an official written report when misconduct is personally observed
  • Ban shooting at a moving vehicle unless it is a last resort to protect life (not property)
  • Response to “Defund Police” is to require local jurisdictions to support and advocate for sufficient community resources that support the above principles and initiatives that reduce recidivism and provide equal opportunities for all