Tuesday August the 22nd 2017

 

 

The Office of Criminal District Attorney Administration Section handles all matters ranging from prosecuting criminal cases at all levels, representing the interests of victims of violent crimes, obtaining protective orders, saving children from abusive households to personnel and finances including applications for employment, purchasing, and budget.


The main duty of the Criminal District Attorney is to represent the state in criminal cases. The District Attorney works with law enforcement officers in the investigation and preparation of cases to be held before the criminal courts. When requested in writing, the district attorney may provide legal counsel to county officers.


  • STEPHEN B. TYLER, CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY,

    Stephen B. Tyler is the chief administrator of the Criminal District Attorney’s Office. As your elected official, Mr. Tyler has a vision of serving the citizens of Victoria County with high standards of expectations as set out in our mission statement. He has intensified and brought forth a new level of professional standards between law enforcement, the judiciary and citizens of our community. Mr. Tyler is a felony prosecutor who establishes the principles for reviewing criminal cases for all other attorneys in this office and prosecutes felony offenders in District Court. These prosecuted cases have ranged from Capital Murder, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, Aggravated Sexual Assault as well as many other major felony cases.

     

    FIRST ASSISTANT CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, JOHNA M. STALLINGS

    As First Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Ms. Stallings assists in carrying out administrative duties as needed. She works hand in hand with Mr. Tyler in assisting with management decisions and implementing those decisions. Ms. Stallings possesses the same high values, work ethics and views as Mr. Tyler in the operations and goals of the office. Ms. Stallings is a felony prosecutor and the section chief of the cases assigned to the 377th Judicial District Court in Victoria, Texas She works with all attorneys in not only felony section, but also with juvenile and misdemeanor departments as well.

     

    OFFICE MANAGER, ERNEST H. "ERNIE" GUTERREZ JR.

    Ernie Guterrez is the office manager. He manages the office's daily operations, accepts applications for employment and processes all purchase requisitions, reimbursements, and accounts payable.

     

    CIVIL SECTION CHIEF, ASSISTANT CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, JAMES PINK DICKENS

    The civil section chief is responsible for handling all cases involving the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. This department reviews cases involving child abuse, endangerment and neglect. This department represents the State in civil actions regarding child custody, protection and welfare. The section also has a prosecutor in charge of reviewing and filing protective orders to ensure that victims of family violence are protected from their abuser by court order. Another duty of the Civil Section prosecutors is to prosecute criminal cases filed in the Justice of the Peace Courts.

     

Asset Forfeiture is a term used to describe the confiscation of assets, by the State, which are either:

  • (a) Property that is used in the commission of a crime,
  • (b) Proceeds gained from the commission of a crime,
  • (c) Property acquired with proceeds gained from the commission of a crime, or
  • (d) Property used to facilitate or intended to be used to facilitate the commission of a crime.

 

  • The Asset Forfeiture Section of the District Attorney's Office consists of an assistant criminal district attorney, a legal secretary and an investigator.  The primary responsibility of the Asset Forfeiture Section is to prosecute seizure and forfeiture cases pursuant to Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.  Prior to the filing of a forfeiture lawsuit, our office assists law enforcement agencies in researching properties to be seized, advising the agencies on the legal requirements of prosecuting a forfeiture action, drafting and obtaining search and seizure warrants, and helps with other questions that might arise.


    Once a forfeiture lawsuit has been filed, the assistant district attorney and the legal secretary prosecute the case to its conclusion and are responsible for obtaining service on the defendants, conducting civil discovery and presenting the evidence at trial.  Once the case has concluded and a forfeiture judgment has been obtained, the investigator is responsible for seeing that the forfeited property is distributed pursuant to Texas law and in accordance with the local agreement in place between the seizing agency and the District Attorney's Office.


    In addition to handling forfeiture lawsuits, this Section also is responsible for reviewing and appearing on behalf of the State in all Petitions for Expunction of Records that are filed in Victoria County.  The main role of the Section on expunction cases is to certify that the applicant has met all the statutory requirements to be entitled to an expunction.  In cases where the applicant is not entitled to expunction, the office files its written opposition to the petition with the court and appears in court to argue against the petition being granted.


    The Section also assists individuals and private attorneys who have questions about expunctions or petitions for non-disclosure and provides guidance and assistance in preparing the proper documents to be filed in those cases.

     

Prosecution of juvenile crimes in Victoria County is handled by all Assistant Criminal District Attorneys of the misdemeanor section.  The ultimate objective in handling juvenile cases is the rehabilitation of the youth and assisting them in becoming law-abiding productive members of society.  This objective is accomplished by coordinating with the Courts, the Juvenile Service Department and other local agencies to create a positive impact on Victoria’s youth.

  • In Texas, a juvenile case is one in which the offender is between 10-16 years of age.  Once a child reaches the age of 17, they are considered adults and fall under the jurisdiction of the adult criminal system.  Our office has several options for handling juvenile offenders.


    In the most severe cases where the juvenile is at least fourteen years old, the State may petition the Court to certify the offender to stand trial as an adult.  In such cases, the accused would face the same punishment as an adult offender, up to and including life in prison. Crimes committed by persons under the age of 17, however, are not eligible for the death penalty.


    For other violent offenders and for habitual felony offenders, the State may seek a "determinate sentence."  Under this sentencing scheme, for the more serious offenses, a juvenile could face up to a maximum of forty years confinement in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) with a possible transfer to the adult prison system prior to reaching age nineteen.  Juvenile offenders who are transferred from TYC to the adult prison system are required to serve the remainder of their sentence in adult prison.


    For less serious offenses, a juvenile offender faces the possibility of being placed on probation or being committed to TYC for an “indeterminate” period of time.  These offenders cannot be transferred to the adult criminal justice system.  If the offender receives an indeterminate commitment to TYC, he or she must be discharged on or before reaching age nineteen.  For an offender who receives probation, the term of probation must end on or before he or she reaches age eighteen.


    During probation, a child may be required to perform community service, attend special classes, pay restitution, and regularly report to a juvenile probation officer.  Failure to comply with the orders of the Juvenile Court and the rules of probation may result in the child’s probation being modified.  Such modifications often result in stricter supervision, including placement in specialized treatment facilities or commitment to TYC.

     


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