Listed below are questions which are frequently asked of the District Prosecutor's Office. We have posted these questions and answers to assist you in understanding how the legal system works.
Q: What happens after I file a Complaint?
A: The process that a Law Clerk must follow, when they receive a citizen complaint is:
The Complainant will come to the office at their scheduled appointment time. They will meet with a Law Clerk and discuss what criminal wrong has been committed. The Law Clerk will then notify the Complainant of what law is relevant to their situation and what possible remedies there are for the situation. The Law Clerk will then set up a meeting with a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney to discuss the facts of the incident and whether to pursue criminal charges OR try to resolve the matter in some other fashion. The Law Clerk will then notify the complainant of that decision and what further action, if any, will be taken by this office.
Q: What if I decide I do not want to file charges ?
A: The answer to this question depends on where the Complaint is in the process it must go through. If the Affidavit and Warrant have been filed with the Circuit Clerk, it is no longer up to the Complainant to decide whether or not they want to file charges. The decision at this point rests solely with the Prosecuting Attorney. However, if the Complainant decides that they don’t want to file charges during their meeting with a Law Clerk in their initial filing of the Citizen’s Complaint, they are free to do so in most instances without recourse. Also of note here is that it is a Class D Felony to File a False Report.
Q: What is an Affidavit ?
A: An Affidavit is a sworn statement that, for the purposes mentioned here, describes the facts that are relevant to the incident for purposes of providing probable cause.
Q: What is an Arrest Warrant?
A: An Arrest Warrant is a document that is entered into a nation-wide computer system that orders any officer to arrest the person identified on the document, upon any meeting between the identified person and any law enforcement officer.
Q: What is an Information?
A: An Information is a document that specifies the relevant statutory law that applies to the crime with which the defendant is being charged. This is also known as a charging instrument.
Q: When is a NON-SUPPORT Claim a Felony?
A: Arkansas Criminal Code 5-26-401 states, that in order to be a felony the person obligated to pay, must be at least $2,500 behind and that the amount they are behind must represent at least four months worth or non-payment.
Q: What is a Subpoena?
A: Subpoena - A subpoena is an instrument compelling attendance to testify at a judicial proceeding as a witness. Subpoenas are punishable by law if not complied with.
Subpoena Duces Tecum - A subpoena duces tecum is an instrument similar to a subpoena (see above) except that a subpoena duces tecum requires the subpoenaed party to bring something with them, usually documents of some kind.
Q: What is the Appropriate Agency?
A: The city or county of which the alleged crime occurred determines which law enforcement agency to be contacted. For Example:
- If the alleged crime occurred in the Fayetteville city limits, then contact the Fayetteville Police Department.
- If the alleged crime occurred outside the city limits in Washington County, then contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office.