Prosecuting Attorney's Office

 Special Prosecutor:
Matthew W. Faulks
Sandy Haren
Mail To:

Adams County Courthouse
PO Box 546
Council, ID 83612

(208) 253-6896
(208) 253-4880
Office Hours:
8:00 am-Noon; 1:00-5:00 pm
Monday, Tuesday, Friday

Prosecutor's Page Contents



Description of Office

The Adams County Prosecuting Attorney is an elected official. Idaho law provides that it is the policy of the State “that the primary duty of enforcing all the penal provisions of any and all statutes of this state, in any court, is vested in the sheriff and prosecuting attorney of each of the several counties” (from Idaho Code Section 31-2227).

A significant portion of the work done by this office involves efforts by us and law enforcement agencies to address criminal conduct that occurred in Adams County. Our office prosecutes all felony cases, as well as misdemeanor cases that are not prosecuted by a city attorney.

The Office of the Adams County Prosecuting Attorney also handles a variety of other matters. An important function of the office is providing legal advice to the County’s elected officials. We also have responsibilities relating to civil litigation, juvenile cases, child protection actions, and mental health proceedings.

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Prosecutor's Philosophy


The guiding principle for the prosecuting attorney in criminal cases is to “do justice.” Our office often has a lot of discretion regarding what crimes will be charged – we should use that discretion wisely.

The prosecuting attorney also makes sentencing recommendations to the judge after a criminal defendant has been convicted of a crime or has pled “guilty.” There are four traditional justifications for punishing criminal defendants, and the prosecutor should bear these in mind when forming sentencing recommendations:

Retribution – Society inflicts suffering on the defendant in return for the defendant’s criminal actions (hence, it is a form of vengeance).

Deterrence – Society inflicts suffering on the defendant in the hope of deterring the defendant, as well as others, from committing similar crimes.

Rehabilitation – It is hoped that the defendant will be reformed through the punishment that is imposed.

Societal protection – It is hoped that limits and requirements imposed upon the defendant at sentencing will protect society from further criminal actions by the defendant. For example, the defendant may be incarcerated, the defendant’s driving privileges may be limited, the defendant may be required to meet periodically with a probation officer, or the defendant may be required to wear a device that will sense if the defendant has consumed a beverage containing alcohol.


Our office should make decisions that show that we value the law, and that we care about the residents of Adams County. There are countless matters in which we may become involved – yet, whatever the topic, and whatever the arena, we need to be mindful of the interests of the residents of Adams County.

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The responsibilities of the Prosecuting Attorney are set out in the Idaho Code and usually include the following:

1. To prosecute or defend all actions, applications or motions, civil or criminal, in the district court of his or her county in which the People, the State, or the County are interested or are a party.

2. To prosecute all felony criminal actions, irrespective of whom the arresting officer is; to prosecute all misdemeanor or infraction actions for violation of all state laws or county ordinances when the arresting or charging officer is a state or county employee; to conduct preliminary criminal examinations which may be had before magistrates; to prosecute or defend all civil actions in which the county or state is interested; and when a written contract to do so exists between the Prosecuting Attorney and a city, to prosecute violations for state misdemeanors and infractions and violations of county or city ordinances committed within the municipal limits of that city when the arresting or charging officer is a city employee.

3. To give advice to the Board of County Commissioners, and other public officers of the county, when requested in all public matters arising in the conduct of the public business entrusted to the care of such officers.

4. To examine witnesses, before the grand jury, when requested to do so; to draw bills of indictments, information and accusations; to issue subpoenas and other process requiring the attendance of witnesses.

5. To perform all other duties required of him or her by law.


The County Commissioners, Sheriff, Treasurer, Clerk/Auditor/Recorder, and Assessor
The people of the State of Idaho (e.g. when bringing criminal charges)
Adams County (e.g. when defending the County in a civil lawsuit, or when bringing a zoning case against a landowner)


Preparing a Felony Complaint; making recommendations to the Magistrate in a Juvenile case; researching and drafting legal advice letters for elected officials and department heads; negotiating contract terms; preparing real estate documents; meeting with the Board of Adams County Commissioners; prosecuting a case involving the violation of fishing, hunting, or trapping laws; meeting with a Sheriff’s Office deputy regarding a search warrant

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Victim's Rights


If a victim of a crime has suffered a financial loss, we usually attempt to obtain an order for restitution. Restitution is reimbursement, paid by the defendant, for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the crime victim. Restitution is usually made in monthly payments that are based on the defendant’s ability to pay.

Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program

The Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program was established to provide financial assistance to crime victims who have suffered financial losses due to a crime (when other resources are not available to cover those expenses). A claim for benefits under the Crime Victims Compensation Act may be filed by a victim, the spouse or children of a deceased victim, or other authorized persons, such as a parent or guardian of a victim who is a minor.

For more information on eligibility, reimbursable expenses, how to file a claim, and other information, please go to: Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program.

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Other Links of Interest

Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance

Third Judicial Court

Rose Advocates

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