Deputy District Attorney IV - Criminal Division

  • Sonoma County, CA
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Aug 19, 2023
Full Time Legal Services Other
  • Salary: $176,382.51 - $214,409.84 Annually USD

Job Description

Position Information

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office is seeking an experienced attorney to join their Criminal Division team!

Starting salary up to $102.73/hourly ($214,409/annually) and a competitive total compensation package!*

At this time, the Deputy District Attorney - Criminal Division can be filled at the III or IV level, depending on qualifications. If you are interested in applying at the III level, you must apply to the separate concurrent recruitment being conducted for that level.

When you join the District Attorney's Office, you become part of a team-oriented group of attorneys dedicated to public service. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:

  • Salary Advancement - A salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Paid Time Off - Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County Paid Health Premium Contributions - 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • Staff Development/Wellness Pay - Annual benefit allowances of up to $1,250 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Annual Professional Development benefit - $452
  • Post-Retirement Health Reimbursement Arrangement - County contributions to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement - A pension fully integrated with Social Security
  • Paid Parental Leave - May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) after 12 months of County employment
* Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.

Working for the District Attorney's Office
The Deputy District Attorney IV - Criminal Division (Deputy DA IV) position is responsible for prosecuting the most complex and challenging cases in the office, including felony rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, and all homicide cases. The position requires the ability to work independently and exercise sound discretion in the prosecution and disposition of all manner of serious and violent felonies. This position also requires leadership skills and the ability and willingness to mentor less experienced prosecutors.

Reporting to a Chief Deputy, the Deputy DA IV is the most senior, non-management attorney position in the office. The attorneys in this position operate with significant discretion to make independent decisions about most case dispositions and trials. The level IV prosecutor exercises this discretion within the rules of professional responsibility and office policy. Significant decisions involving filing, disposition, and trial readiness for certain serious and violent felonies often involve consultation with a Chief Deputy, depending on the nature and severity of the case.

Attorneys at this level often handle specially assigned cases in addition to their normal duties. This may include homicides or other “high profile” cases. A Deputy DA IV may mentor less experienced prosecutors, or act as a “Team Leader” for a small group of attorneys assigned to the same caseload.

The ideal candidate for this position will have:
  • Extensive experience in criminal felony prosecution, including jury trial experience in homicide and/or other complex, serious or violent felonies
  • Significant law and motion experience, including significant personal experience with research and drafting of their own pleadings in complex matters

  • The ability to independently manage cases and work in a team environment
  • The initiative and passion to be a self-starter, with the ability to apply common sense and organization to efficiently handle complex legal matters
  • The ability to exercise excellent legal judgment in criminal cases
  • Excellent stress management and time management skills
  • The ability to empathetically communicate with victims of crime
  • The ability to make difficult decisions while also accepting direction from a supervisor
  • Effective negotiation and interpersonal skills, including the ability to interact professionally and effectively with co-workers, law enforcement officers, defense attorneys, courts, and all members of the public
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word and PowerPoint, Outlook, Lexis-Nexis, Prosecutor by Karpel, or other electronic case management system
  • Prior experience with sensitive victims, language or cultural barriers, significant expert testimony, and multiple-defendant prosecutions is highly desired

In addition, prior attendance at California District Attorneys Association or National District Attorneys Association seminars in Trial Practice, Felony Sentencing, and other areas relating to criminal prosecution is highly desired.

The Office of the District Attorney

Under the leadership of the District Attorney, Carla Rodriguez, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office is the largest legal office in the County and has a staff of 133 employees including attorneys, investigators, paralegals, and clerical support. Each year the office files approximately 4,000 felony cases and over 14,000 misdemeanor cases which include the full range of offenses.

For recent press releases, please visit: Recent Press Releases


Located less than an hour's drive north of San Francisco, Sonoma County combines in one location the beautiful Pacific Coastline, award winning wineries, majestic redwoods, historic towns, fine dining, and a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities.

Sonoma County is the largest county in the North Bay, covering approximately 1,600 square miles, and home to over 488,000 residents. Santa Rosa, with a population of 171,000, is the County seat and center of government, commerce, and medical facilities. Santa Rosa and the County's seven other incorporated cities each maintain a small town feel, despite ongoing growth. Excellent health care services are available at four acute care hospitals, a trauma center, and 19 specialty medical facilities. Fine educational institutions, including Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University, and local schools that rank considerably better in the Academic Performance Index than the state as a whole, further contribute to Sonoma County's exceptional quality of life.

For local real estate or community information, please visit: Economic Development Board Sonoma County , Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce


The County of Sonoma is governed by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and is comprised of 28 departments/agencies/commissions that provide a full range of services to the community. Sonoma County government has a history of providing excellent and responsive public service, while operating under sound fiscal principles. This is achieved in a climate of respect and collaboration.

This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help positions as they occur during the active status of the list. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment. The Civil Service title for this classification is Deputy District Attorney IV.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Sonoma County Prosecutors’ Association Memorandum of Understanding (SCPA MOU) and our Employee Benefits directory.


Minimum Qualifications

Experience: Legal experience subsequent to membership in the State Bar of California, which directly relates to the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, four years of legal experience practicing criminal law as a licensed attorney, including two years of experience at a level comparable to Deputy District Attorney III in Sonoma County; or four years of legal experience as a licensed attorney with two years of related experience to specialty assignments such as Environmental and Consumer Law or Appellate practice; or equivalent experience with another prosecuting agency, would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed.

Special qualifications: Specialty training courses focusing on felony prosecutions, or environmental, consumer, or appellate practice.

Professional License: Current active membership in the State Bar of California. Possession of a valid driver's license may be required for certain assignments.

License: Possession of a valid driver’s license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Thorough knowledge of: the duties, powers, limitations and authorities of the office of the District Attorney.

Extensive knowledge of: the principles of criminal law, principles of trial procedure, and rules of evidence; legal research methods and judicial procedures; the statutory and constitutional laws of the State of California and the United States; written and oral communications, including language mechanics, syntax and English composition.

Ability to: research, analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence and precedents to legal problems; consistently prepare and present statements of law, fact and argument clearly, logically and persuasively in written and oral form in all legal matters; exercise sound judgment and respond appropriately in fast-paced and constantly changing courtroom situations; establish and maintain effective working relationship with staff members, departmental representatives, county officials, the courts, law enforcement agency officials, and the general public; provide training and instruction to attorney staff, law enforcement, and other related department and county personnel, and state prosecutors or the public, if requested; understand and accept differences in human behavior, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying
  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.
Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the hiring process, including the application process, examination steps, and department selection process.


Responses to supplemental questions will be scored using position-specific criteria. Please provide specific and detailed responses of a reasonable length to allow for a thorough assessment of your qualifications. Responses that state "See Resume" or "See Application" may be considered insufficient and therefore may not be scored.

The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:

An Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (weight 100%). Each application and supplemental questionnaire will be thoroughly evaluated for satisfaction of minimum qualifications and relevance of educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities that relate to this position. Candidates possessing the most appropriate job-related qualifications will be placed on an employment list and referred to the department for selection interviews.


It is the policy of law enforcement and legal offices and departments, in the County of Sonoma, that candidates complete a thorough background investigation process prior to employment. This policy is imperative in order to keep the department’s employees and the public safe and to maintain high standards in the law enforcement community. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

The background investigation will include a thorough assessment of a candidate’s personal, employment, educational, criminal, and credit history. The investigation may include, but is not necessarily limited to: use of prescription and/or other drugs, reports from former employers, friends, family members, educational institutions, law enforcement agencies, credit reports, court reports, public records search, and/or other relevant sources. Candidates must be honest and forthcoming about information that may arise during the background process. Deception during any portion of this process is grounds for disqualification, even after employment.

Depending on the assignment, candidates may be required to take a pre-employment medical examination and may be required to take a polygraph examination. All candidates for law enforcement positions are required to undergo drug testing as part of the selection process. Additionally, candidates may be required to take a pre-employment psychological and physical abilities examination. The results of these examinations and the background investigation shall be confidential and shall not be available to the candidate for review. Failure to pass the background investigation will eliminate a candidate from the employment process. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.

Issues that arise during the investigation process will be assessed and judgment and discretion will be used to determine the employability of the candidate. Where there is evidence of a candidate’s past use of controlled substances, many factors shall be used to determine the employability of the individual such as a pattern of use, kind of drug used, circumstances of the start of the drug use, treatment, behavior and attitude since discontinuance, etc. Please note that a history of using controlled substances does not result in automatic disqualification from the selection process. Prior to disqualifying any candidate whose profile falls within the provisions of the policy, the candidate shall be given the opportunity to present any and all evidence of mitigating facts that the candidate feels should be considered by the hiring authority. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer is contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter.


Applications are accepted online at . Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Continuous recruitments may close without notice at any time that a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.

The County of Sonoma values diversity and is dedicated to creating a workplace environment that provides individuals with a sense of belonging. We are committed to having a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. The County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer where all aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance, and business need.

HR Analyst: DP
HR Technician: EV

IMPORTANT NOTE: Benefits described herein do not apply to Extra Help positions.


These are some of the excellent benefits the County offers:

Paid Time Off : Competitive vacation accrual and sick leave accruals; additional management leave annually; 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year; and may be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment.

Health Plan : Choice of five health plans (a PPO, EPO, HMO, and two deductible HMOs) with a County contribution toward the premium (the contribution amount varies by bargaining unit. For specific details, please refer to the applicable MOU). A County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement is available for some bargaining units.

Retirement :Fully integrated with Social Security.For more information regarding eligibility, retirement contributions, and reciprocity with prior public service, please visit .

IRS 457 Plan :Pre-tax employee contribution up to the IRS annual maximum.

Retiree Medical : County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits.

Plus excellent dental, vision, disability, life insurance, professional development, and more.

For answers to specific questions regarding the employment process and more details about benefits or retirement, please contact Human Resources at (707) 565-2331.Additional details about benefit and compensation packages can be found in the MOUs located at . For specific information about health and welfare benefits including plan options, coverage, and premium amounts go to or, contact the Human Resources' Risk Management-Benefits Office at or (707) 565-2900.

*IMPORTANT NOTES: Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Base Pay


Job Address

Santa Rosa, California United States View Map