Once the law enforcement agency submits the results of their investigation to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, a Deputy County Attorney (DCA) will review the police report and evidence. The DCA then makes a decision as to whether the case meets the standard required by the “special responsibilities of a prosecutor” ethical rule, which is a “reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.”
The DCA has several different options at this point. The DCA can decline charges, but request that the law enforcement agency conduct further investigation. This means the DCA submits a request for specific tasks to be completed by the law enforcement agency. Once the requests are completed, the law enforcement agency could resubmit the case to the DCA. How each law enforcement agency prioritizes and completes follow up is at their discretion.
The DCA could also elect to decline or dismiss charges due to their ethical rule. The victim has a right to confer with the DCA prior to any final charging decisions. Should the DCA decide not to prosecute the case, the listed victim(s) will be advised of their right to speak with the prosecutor prior to the decision becoming final ARS 13-4408 & 8-389 (Notice of rights) & 13-4419 & 8-399 (Victim conference with prosecuting attorney). For more information regarding declinations and dismissals please refer to “What is a dismissal? & What is a declination?” The victim also has the right to confer with the DCA if a plea agreement is offered. Although the victim has the right to confer with the DCA prior to any final charging decisions or plea agreements, they cannot direct the prosecution of the case 13-4419 & 8-399 (conference with DCA) & 13-4423 & 8-403 (plea agreement proceedings.)Decisions regarding dismissals, charging of the case, diversion and plea agreements are at the discretion of the assigned DCA. For more information regarding invoking the right to confer with the DCA refer to “How do I give input on a case?” and “How do I invoke my right to confer with the prosecutor?”