County Court - Misdemeanor and Traffic Prosecution
The County Court unit is responsible for the prosecution of misdemeanor and traffic offenses in El Paso and Teller Counties. In 2021, this unit handled more than 22,994 traffic and misdemeanor cases. The Deputy District Attorney’s (DDA’s) in County Court are the face of the District Attorney’s Office because the majority of people who come into court either as defendants, witnesses or victims are there on County Court cases.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrew Vaughan supervises this unit and is assisted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Tony Gioia. There are two floater attorneys who help supervise divisions and twelve DDA’s assigned to the various divisions in this unit ranging from A to H, J, K, T, First Appearance Center and Fast Track. County Court has two specialty courts: DUI and Domestic Violence Court. County Court has several specialty units including a Special Victims Unit (SVU) and an Animal Care Unit (ACU). In addition to the attorney staff, Joy Thompson, Department Manager, supervises nineteen employees including three Paralegals, thirteen Legal Assistants and Domestic Violence Fast Track personnel.
In addition to paid staff there are usually at least twelve volunteers assisting with County Court and Fast Track. The County Court Unit is always looking for qualified volunteers to assist them in completing their mission of fairly and impartially handling misdemeanor, traffic and petty offense cases.
County Court is a cohesive team of Deputy District Attorneys and support staff. County Court attorneys operate under the Three Musketeers mantra, “All for One and One for All.” They tirelessly work together to prosecute defendants and achieve justice for victims, while training to improve their skillsets allowing them to better serve our community. This unit takes great pride in their active mentorship program which was established in 2011 to encourage experienced attorneys to assist and guide newer DDA’s. The County Court attorneys strive to help train, support and build working relationships with local law enforcement through wet lab trainings, participating in police ride-along programs, moot court, specialty units, and training local police agencies.
County Court works to give back to the community through focusing on the youth. The unit has adopted a children’s reading program through the Head Start Program through Community Partnership of Child Development.
Furthermore, County Court serves as a training ground for individuals who are currently enrolled in law school and are seeking experience through internships. If you are interested in our internship program: