1700 Wilbarger Street Room 28
Vernon, TX 76384
Phone: (940) 553-3521
Fax: (940) 553-2305
District and County Attorney
Effective enforcement of the law requires the sure-handed expertise of a knowledgeable prosecutor.
The main duties of the county and/or district attorney is to represent the state in criminal cases. The county and/or district attorney works with law enforcement officers in the investigation and preparation of cases to be heard before the criminal courts. When requested in writing, the county attorney provides legal counsel to county officers.
The overwhelming importance of the office of public prosecutors arises from the fact that upon the prosecuting attorney rests the power of determining whether prosecution in any given case shall be inaugurated or, if inaugurated, pushed to a successful conclusion.
Other duties include prosecution of juvenile offenders, representation of victims of violence in protective orders and representing the Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory services in removing children from abusive households.
An excerpt from the Texas State Historical Association:
Though the síndico procurador of the Spanish and Mexican municipality seems to have performed the functions of a county attorney, no constitutional provision was made for a similar official after Texas independence until 1866. Under the constitutions of 1866 and 1869, a county attorney was appointed by the county board for a four-year term. With the adoption of the Constitution of 1876 the office became elective, and the term was changed to two years. A constitutional amendment changed the term back to four years in 1954. The main duties of the county attorney are to represent the state in the justice of the peace and county courts, defend suits in which the county is interested, and serve as legal advisor to county and precinct officials. If the county has no district attorney, the county attorney also represents the state in district courts.