The District Attorney’s Office
What do they do?
The role of the District Attorney’s Office is to prosecute (to take legal action against) alleged violations of TN criminal law. If you are the victim of a crime, you do not need to hire your own attorney; an Assistant District Attorney will be assigned to prosecute your case for you.
If you choose to file for an order of Protection, note this document is a civil order, and thus will not be prosecuted by the state. Thus, you may or may not choose to hire a private attorney regarding this matter. Only when an Order of Protection is violated does it become a criminal matter.
What is a Victim/Witness Coordinator?
A Victim Witness Coordinator, as part of the District Attorney’s Office, serves to help you navigate the court process by letting you know what to expect in court, giving you updates regarding the status of your case, and referring you to helpful resources to support you during what is often a difficult and confusing time.
Note that the role of a Victim Witness Coordinator differs from the role of advocates at the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center and the Office of Family Safety. While VW Coordinators constitute a department under the District Attorney’s Office, advocates at these Centers do not. Thus, information shared with advocates will not be communicated to members of the DA’s Office unless you ask that this be the case. An advocate’s role is to support you, to help you develop healthy means of increasing your safety, to connect you with relevant resources to improve your current circumstances, and to aid you in drafting an Order of Protection if applicable.
What is an Early Intervention Meeting (EIM)?
It is often helpful to discuss the details of your case with an Assistant District Attorney prior to your court date. For this reason, The District Attorney’s Office offers Early Intervention Meetings (EIMs) during which you may meet with the Assistant District Attorney handling your case in a safe, private space (typically at JCAC or OFS). You may also meet with an advocate for additional support during this meeting.
For additional information regarding the District Attorney’s Office, please visit: Nashville DA Website