The District Attorney's involvement in a case normally begins when s/he is presented with evidence that an offense has been committed in Waupaca County by a specific person, and s/he is asked to commence prosecution.
Criminal laws prohibit and punish such acts as burglary, theft (crimes against property), battery, sexual assault (crimes against persons) and other crimes against society such as welfare fraud, possession or trafficking in controlled substances, gambling and criminal traffic violations.
If the accused is under age 17, the case begins in Juvenile Court where it will remain unless statutory criteria for waiver into adult court are met.
The District Attorney also prosecutes alleged violations of state laws and county ordinances punishable by monetary forfeitures only. Township, city or village attorneys, not the District Attorney, prosecute township, city or village ordinance violations.
The District Attorney also represents the interests of the public in Juvenile Court actions involving children alleged to be in need of protection or services. Before the District Attorney commences prosecution s/he should be satisfied that there exists sufficient admissible, creditable evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case, or prove guilt to a reasonable certainty by evidence which is clear, satisfactory and convincing in an ordinance case.