Intake and Processing Unit
Felony Intake Desk: Deputy District Shawn Spaulding
Misdemeanor Intake Desk: Deputy District Attorney Kevin O'Hara
Misdemeanor Expediter: Deputy District Attorney Charlotte Woodfork
When the police agencies in Marin have completed a criminal investigation and believe they have a legal basis to have charges filed against someone they will forward their investigative reports to this office. Specific attorneys are tasked as "Intake" deputies and will review all requests for charges
Except for certain targeted prosecutions, the most serious types of charges are classified as felonies and are reviewed by the felony intake deputy. Some crimes are less serious and are classified as misdemeanors. These misdemeanors are reviewed by the misdemeanor intake deputy.
The targeted prosecutions have a specific intake deputy assigned to review these cases. The targeted intake programs are: family violence investigations (these include all domestic violence cases referred to the office); sexual assault (includes child sexual abuse cases) and child stealing cases; and drug cases coming from the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force and are assigned to specialists in these programs. Normally these specialists review any felony or misdemeanor referral coming from their targeted program.
When the police or a member of the public has a question about a pending referral normally the individual they will speak to is the intake attorney assigned to the case of interest
For non-law enforcement inquiries, little information can be released and on many occasions this office can not confirm or identify the suspect in a referral. It must be remembered that all individuals suspected or charged with a criminal offense are presumed innocent.
Once charges are filed the formal court process commences and these cases move from our intake unit to one of the prosecution teams who then assumes responsibility for the prosecution.
The processing component of the Intake / Processing Unit centers on the Misdemeanor Expediter. This attorney has a number of responsibilities with respect to the large volume of misdemeanor cases active in the system at any point in time. The primary responsibility for this attorney is to meet with the attorneys representing the defendants charged with these pending misdemeanor prosecutions, or with the defendants themselves if they have elected to represent themselves and discuss any potential settlement of the case. No more than one to two percent of the misdemeanor cases filed in a given year will end-up in front of a jury for resolution. All remaining cases are concluded by some type of plea or other judicial action that ends the prosecution.
Both in person and telephone conferences can be scheduled with the Misdemeanor Expediter. These appointments are arranged by calling the main office number (415) 473-6450 and asking for an Expediter appointment. It must be remembered these appointments ONLY involve misdemeanor prosecutions. If a defendant faces felony charges or a combination of felony and misdemeanor charges in a particular complaint then settlement discussions will not be handled by the Misdemeanor Expediter.
Our Misdemeanor Expediter is bound by ethical standards and regulations that prohibit him or her from talking directly to a defendant when the defendant is represented by an attorney. Any communication must be handled through the attorney representing the defendant, the exception being if a particular defendant has elected self-representation. Self-representation has many pitfalls and can only occur after a request has been made to the appropriate judicial officer and a formal finding of self-representation has been made.