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story.lead_photo.caption File photo/McDonald County Press Bill Dobbs serves as McDonald County Prosecutor, a position he's held since 2014. Dobbs' office oversees about 1,500 misdemeanor cases and 800 felony cases each year.

From misdemeanors to felonies, McDonald County Prosecutor Bill Dobbs sees a broad range of offenses.

Any criminal act in McDonald County "eventually comes across my desk," he said.

Dobbs spends about four days of the week in court, prosecuting cases. In a day's time, he sees 50 to 75 cases. In one year's time, he'll file 1,500 Class C misdemeanor cases and about 800 Class A and B felony cases.

The McDonald County Prosecutor has served in the position since 2014. His previous years of legal experience serve him well in an office that oversees a great volume and a great variety of cases.

Dobbs earned a dual degree in psychology and sociology from Missouri State University after high school, then earned a master's degree in criminal justice from Central Missouri State University.

Working with a variety of situations -- including his 8-year stint as chief juvenile officer for McDonald and Newton counties -- further ignited his long-time interest in pursuing a law degree.

At age 40, he decided to attend law school. In 1995, he graduated from the University of Tulsa-College of Law. For 12 years, he worked as a senior assistant special prosecutor for children and families in Newton County. His career focus involved casework of domestic abuse, sexual abuse and child abuse and neglect.

Dobbs draws from his experience and knowledge while relying on his "excellent staff" to ensure all information and evidence is collected and available.

The staff prepares as if every case goes to trial, he said.

"Once the investigation is turned over to us, we have to make sure all the information is available and that we can make a charge at trial," he said. "We have to make sure the right people have been interviewed and the evidence has been processed."

Dobbs relies on his staff to work as a puzzle-solving team to ensure efficiency. An assistant prosecuting attorney who has experience in serving as a public defender assists the team. A senior clerk handles all filings, from traffic cases to felonies, procures criminal history and handles discovery.

Another clerk assists with conservation cases, as well as handling checks and restitution.

A victim advocate aids people with various resources for abusive situations.

Another part-time investigator, a former deputy, assists with the large volume of cases.

Overseeing every detail can be satisfying at the end of a case, Dobbs said.

"It's always good to be out in public and someone offers thanks for what we were able to do for their family or loved one," he said.

"It's always satisfying to get a conviction on a tough case and how that impacts the public," he said.

"Our daily goal is to try to be uplifting to the county."

General News on 10/17/2019

Print Headline: Dobbs' Office Oversees Large Volume Of Misdemeanor, Felony Cases

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