Ron Freitas
District Attorney

District Attorney
Mainline Prosecution Division

Image: Courtroom SceneThe San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office is legally responsible to prosecute all felony and misdemeanor cases filed on behalf of the People of the State of California for those crimes committed within the jurisdiction of the County, including crimes committed by juvenile offenders.  The prosecutors, paralegals, investigators, advocates and legal support staff commit themselves each day to provide justice for victims and witnesses of crime in the most professional, respectful and compassionate manner.  The District Attorney’s Office also works to ensure that the offenders who are responsible for committing crimes against others are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


The Mainline Unit is a specialized division within a District Attorney's Office focusing on the prosecution of felony cases such as attempted murder, robbery, burglary, assault, and other significant offenses that can result in severe punishment. This can include imprisonment in jail or prison, and substantial fines and fees.

Prosecutors in the Mainline Unit represent the State of California in court, presenting evidence and arguments to convince the judge and/or jury of the defendant's guilt for those criminal offenses filed against them.  Intake prosecutors review crime reports and make decisions on whether there is sufficient evidence to file charges in a case. Prosecutors then handle the arraignment of those charged with crimes and make arguments to the Court about the custody status of the defendant(s) pending further proceedings in the case.

Attorneys assigned to this unit conduct felony jury trials at the Stockton courthouse. Their caseloads consist of all felony cases not assigned to other specialized prosecution units. In certain instances, there may be the seizure of assets used in the commission of crimes or obtained as a result of criminal activity.

If a defendant is convicted, the Mainline Unit makes sentencing recommendations to the court, based on factors including the severity of the crime, the defendant's criminal history, and other relevant considerations according to the law.  Victims may also appear at the sentencing hearings to provide statements to the Court about the impact of the crimes committed against them.  Restitution may be sought for the injuries and losses that the victims suffer in these cases. 

The primary goal of the District Attorney’s Mainline Unit is to ensure that justice is served and the community is protected from dangerous offenders.


The Misdemeanor Unit is responsible for prosecuting all the misdemeanor cases that occur within San Joaquin County. The prosecutors assigned to the Misdemeanor Team handle cases at each stage of the proceedings, including arraignments, pre-trial conferences, probation violation hearings, motion hearings, through the jury trial stage. Misdemeanor offenses typically carry penalties of up to one year in county jail, fines, probation, community service and restitution to the victims for their injuries and losses.

The unit prepares cases for trial by organizing evidence, contacting witnesses, and developing trial strategies. They may also collaborate with law enforcement officers, expert witnesses, and other relevant parties to build a strong case for Court.


Prosecutors assigned to the Preliminary Hearing Unit handle felony cases set for preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a stage in the criminal proceedings which occurs earlier on in the court process. At this hearing, witnesses testify and evidence is presented to establish probable cause for the charges that have been filed against the defendants. At the conclusion of these hearings, the Court decides if sufficient evidence has been presented and rules whether to “hold to answer” the defendant for the charges filed against them.  The cases that move past the preliminary hearing stage are then set for jury trial and are assigned to the trial attorneys described above.


The District Attorney's Office currently has a circuit office in Manteca. The prosecutors assigned to the Manteca Circuit office handle felony and misdemeanor cases arising from crimes that occur within the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and Escalon, as well as the southern regions of the County.  Those felony cases that proceed past the preliminary hearing stage and those misdemeanor cases that proceed to jury trial are then transferred to the prosecutors assigned to the Stockton Office for further court proceedings.

The Superior Court recently closed the Lodi Circuit Court, which may reopen at a future date.  Cases arising in the northern jurisdictions of the County are filed by a prosecutor assigned to the District Attorney’s Lodi Office and are handled in court by prosecutors assigned to the District Attorney’s Stockton Office.