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Home / Texas County Government / Texas County Officials / District and County Attorney

District and County Attorney


Description of Office

The main duty of both the county attorney and the district attorney is to represent the state in criminal cases. Both work with law enforcement officers in the investigation and preparation of cases to be heard before the criminal courts.
 
Typically, the county attorney represents the state in misdemeanor criminal cases and the district attorney represents the state in felony cases. These public prosecutors determine whether prosecution in any given case should be instituted and, if instituted, pushed to a successful conclusion.
 
Other duties include prosecution of juvenile offenders, representation of victims of violence in protective orders and representing the Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory services in removing children from abusive households
 
The county attorney typically provides legal advice to the commissioners court and other elected officials. When requested in writing, the county attorney provides written legal counsel to county officials about their duties of office. Absent a specific statutory mandate, however, it is not the duty of the county attorney to represent the county in civil cases.
 
Some counties do not have both a county attorney and a district attorney. These counties have either a criminal district attorney or a combination county and district attorney.  In these counties, one individual performs the functions of both the county attorney and the district attorney.
 
As with all elected county officials, the county attorney has ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the authority to hire and fire personnel and direct their daily activities. The county attorney also has authority to determine how to use all other resources allocated to the office during the budget process.
 

For more complete information about the duties of a district attorney, county attorney and other county officials, click here.

Education Requirements​

Coordinating body
State Bar of Texas
Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Division
P.O. Box 13007
Austin, Texas 78711

Contact
MCLE Division
(512) 463-1463 Ext. 2106
Toll Free: (800) 204-2222 ext. 2106
 
The State Bar of Texas is the permanent contact for attorney hours.
 
Programs that qualify
Any approved by the State Bar of Texas.
 
Filing for credit
Attendance is tracked at each qualifying MCLE course using a computer course Attendance form. This form must be submitted to the State Bar of Texas MCLE Division by the MCLE sponsor to earn proper credit. Be sure to fill out an attendance form when available at any education seminar you attend.
 
Continuing education requirements
Attorneys are required to attain 15 hours every 12-month period, with that 12-month period being based on your birth month, ten hours must be earned in a formal classroom setting and up to five hours may be earned in self-study. Three hours must be devoted to legal ethics/professional responsibility and one of the three hours may be earned in self-study.
 
Legal source
V.T.C.A., Tex. Gov’t. Code, Title 2, Subt. G, App. A, State Bar of Texas Rules, Art. 12, Sec. 6
 

Open Government Training Information

Elected and appointed public officials are required by a state law to receive training in Texas open government laws. For more information on this training including free video training courses, check out The Office of the Attorney General website.
 

County Official Organizations

The Texas Association of Counties serves as the umbrella organization for various independent county official organizations in Texas. These organizations serve as an important resource for county officials for information, networking and advocacy.
 
Here you will find links to these organizations' websites which provide information on annual conference dates, leadership information and more.