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DISTRICT ATTORNEY

GENERAL INFORMATION

Department Description

Duties of the Matagorda County District Attorney (DAO) include

  • Investigation and prosecution of all capital, felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile offenses in the 23rd and 130th Judicial District Courts, Matagorda County Court, and all Justice Courts of Matagorda County;
  • Presentation of cases to the Grand Jury; and
  • Filing and trial of civil forfeiture cases.

This department provides legal guidance & training in all areas of criminal law to law enforcement agencies operating in Matagorda County. The department also provides statutory guidance and assistance to victims of violent crime. The District Attorney is elected to a four year term of office.


Department Objectives


To provide the highest quality prosecutorial representation to the people of Matagorda County and provide assistance to law enforcement agencies to enhance county-wide criminal investigation.


Department Statistics

  • 400+ felony cases reviewed and disposed annually
  • 1400+ misdemeanor cases reviewed and disposed annually
  • 20+ felony trial settings per year
  • 20+ misdemeanor trial settings per year
  • 12 grand jury setting per year
  • 12 juvenile adjudication settings per year
  • 80+ hours of continuing legal, law enforcement & professional education per year

OVERVIEW OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

The Matagorda County DAO represents the State of Texas in all criminal cases that arise anywhere in Matagorda County. The only exceptions are low-grade misdemeanors filed in the Municipal Courts of Bay City and Palacios. Local Police Departments and the Sheriff's Department are the agencies that routinely investigate reports of criminal conduct. Criminal cases are then filed in Justice of the Peace Courts, County Courts and District Courts in Matagorda County. Once a case has been filed, prosecutors from the DAO appear in these courts to represent the State of Texas and the interests of crime victims.

The duty of the prosecutor is to see that justice is achieved in the case. Prosecutors also assist police agencies on the legal aspects of criminal investigations and present evidence to county grand juries in felony cases. A prosecutor is assigned to the case from the time it is filed in court until it is disposed of by plea of guilty, trial or dismissal. The DAO continues to oversee handling of a case if it is appealed to a higher court.

The chief prosecutor in Matagorda County is the elected District Attorney, Steven E. Reis. Three Assistant District Attorneys help the District Attorney handle these cases. One District Attorney Investigator assists the prosecutors with their cases. These prosecutors and investigator are backed up by support staff members. The DAO is informally divided into various sections. Each section has distinct responsibilities.

FELONY SECTION - (979) 244-7657 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Prosecutes felony cases (e.g. murder, robbery, sexual and aggravated offenses) where a defendant could be sent to prison or State Jail. The two District Courts (23rd and 130th) have jurisdiction over felony cases.

MISDEMEANOR SECTION - (979) 244-7657 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Prosecutes misdemeanor cases (e.g. driving while intoxicated, assaults, thefts) where a defendant could be sentenced to time in the county jail. The County Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases.

JUVENILE LAW SECTION - (979) 244-7657 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Prosecutes all juvenile cases.

WORTHLESS CHECK SECTION - (979) 244-7657 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Prosecutes insufficient fund or account closed check cases.

VICTIM ASSISTANCE SECTION - (979) 244-7657 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Assists crime victims with questions regarding case settings, victim's rights issues, and victim compensation claims.

GRAND JURY SECTION - (979) 244-7657 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Presents all felony cases to Matagorda County grand juries.

INVESTIGATOR SECTION - (979) 244-7652 or (979) 245-9409 (fax)

Investigators assist prosecutors in the preparation of cases for trial. Also assists law enforcement agencies with case investigations as requested.

The members of the DAO are public servants. Their job is to effectively and responsibly prosecute criminal offenses committed in Matagorda County. If you have any questions about a case or the criminal justice system, please feel free to call on us. Thank you,

STEVEN E. REIS

District Attorney

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