District Attorney

The primary purpose of the District Attorney’s office is to represent the citizens of Ashland County by prosecuting individuals who commit crimes in our community. Law enforcement investigates crimes and then submits a referral/ incident report for review by the District Attorney or Assistant District Attorney. A prosecutor will review the report and make a decision as to what, if anything, the individual should be charged with. On occasion, the prosecutor will return the referral/incident report to law enforcement for additional investigation or for issuance of ordinance citation(s). When the prosecutor has all necessary information, a criminal complaint is filed with the Clerk’s office, setting forth charges and a factual basis to support those charges. The prosecutor who files the complaint will normally handle the case through disposition, which may include a plea and sentencing agreement or a jury trial.

In many of the criminal and delinquency cases prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office, there are victims of the offense. Heidi S. Thimm, the Victim Witness Coordinator, works closely with victims to assure that they understand the criminal procedure and ensures that the Court hears their views about how the crime has effected them.

The District Attorney’s office also represents the State of Wisconsin and Ashland County in the prosecution of civil forfeiture and traffic cases where the defendants choose to contest the citations. These include citations issued by the Ashland County Sheriff’ Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The Ashland County District Attorney’s office also handles juvenile delinquency prosecutions, where it is alleged that the juvenile committed a crime. In these cases, local law enforcement submits incident reports directly to the Department of Human Services. The assigned social worker will then complete an investigation and if necessary, a request will be made to the District Attorney's office to proceed with a delinquency action.

By direction of the County Board, the Ashland County District Attorney’s office also handles a variety of non-criminal matters. These matters include cases involving Children in Need of Protection and Services, Juveniles in Need of Protection and Services and Termination of Parental Rights.