The Legal Division is staffed by General Counsel, along with an investigator who is a Class I, state certified law enforcement officer, and a paralegal. General counsel advises the sheriff and his deputies on all manner of legal issues that arise in law enforcement from probable cause for an arrest, to evidence preservation, to policy/procedure development, to labor and employment law. Some other duties of general counsel include: conducting periodic training for law enforcement officers and detention officers; participating in the defense of civil litigation; negotiating, reviewing and developing contracts with other agencies and service providers; responding to subpoenas for documents and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests; overseeing prosecution of Magistrate’s Court criminal jury trials; and appearing at DMV administrative hearings.
The Legal Division Investigator prepares Magistrate Court criminal cases for trial, including interviewing witnesses, reviewing evidence, conducting legal research, participating in plea negotiations, and assisting general counsel in the courtroom during trial. The investigator also conducts Internal Affairs investigations at the direction of the sheriff. The investigator works very closely with general counsel in trial preparation, Internal Affairs investigations and most other matters requiring research and advice pertaining to the interpretation and implementation of various local, state and federal laws.
The Legal Division Paralegal performs all manner of needed clerical services for the division, as well as assists the sheriff’s executive staff with various monthly reporting requirements and personnel file maintenance. The paralegal also compiles criminal discovery responses and FOIA documents for review and finalization by general counsel.
NOTE: SCSO General Counsel can only answer legal questions and give legal advice to the sheriff and his staff and cannot give advice or answer legal questions for the general public. Defendants, litigants, victims and all other members of the public must contact their own legal counsel for answers to legal questions.