Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of McKean County DA's Office is to prosecute criminal offenses. The legislature enacts laws that define each criminal offense. The prosecutors and police have to analyze a suspect's conduct and determine if the conduct meets the definition of a criminal offense. The analysis is a determination of whether a crime can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The DA's Office represents the Commonwealth at each stage of the criminal justice system - from preliminary hearings in front of one of the county's four Magisterial District Judges; plea conferences; jury trials; and appeals.
Following each conviction, the DA's Office utilizes the sentencing guidelines and makes a sentencing recommendation to the Judge.
The District Attorney's Office works hand-in-hand with law enforcement throughout the life of the case and, sometimes, before charges are filed. We consult with them during investigations and until the conclusion of the case.
One mission of the DA's Office is to provide information to the community regarding the criminal justice system - schools, press, general public (presentations, printed materials). DA Shaffer frequently provides press releases so that the public is informed of matters that relate to the community.
The DA's Office assists victims through the criminal justice process; pursues the imposition of court costs and fines (disbursed to county and state); handles all juvenile delinquency petitions; and addresses probation and parole violations.
DA Shaffer speaks at events on various topics including elder abuse, child abuse, sexual violence, safety to first responders, gun rights, and school safety. She also testified before the Center for Rural Pennsylvania on the opioid crisis.
As you will see at all of our community events, we continue to promote the DA's Anti-Drug Campaign to elementary-aged children. The campaign is designed to promote a pro-police message to young children and reminds them that “police officers are our friend.”