The Wells County Prosecutor’s Office is in charge of prosecuting violations of the penal code for the State of Indiana. Offenses that we prosecute range from murder to misdemeanor traffic matters. We do not prosecute county ordinance or city ordinance violations. With a staff of 4 prosecuting attorneys, we are active in the Wells Circuit Court, Wells Superior Court, and Bluffton City Court. We also serve as special prosecuting attorneys in neighboring counties. In the year 2013, the Wells County Prosecutor’s Office handled 1,057 criminal matters and countless infractions. We also handled 1,131 child support collection cases.
When an offense is committed by a person less than 18 years of age, those offenses are filed as juvenile delinquency petitions and not as criminal actions. Juvenile delinquency petitions can cover any offense from traditional crimes to school discipline and truancy matters. Referrals for juvenile actions are originally made to either law enforcement or the Probation Department before they are forwarded to our office for prosecution. In juvenile actions, our primary goal is to deter the offender from further delinquent behavior before said child becomes an adult.
“Bad Check” Collections
The Wells County Prosecutor’s office runs a program in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies to collect “bad checks” for merchants and citizens. If someone has written you a “bad check” simply contact the law enforcement agency in your city or town (or the Sheriff if you are in the country) and advise them that you wish to pursue an “bad check”. They will help you complete the necessary paperwork, and the matter will be referred to us. The resources of our office will assist in collecting your “bad check”. Sorry, but we cannot pursue two-party checks and post-dated checks.
Drug Crime Prosecutions
The Wells County Prosecutor’s office takes the war on drugs seriously. Prosecutor Lautzenheiser was the creator of the Citizens Against Drug Abuse in Wells County. Additionally, this Office is an active participant in ongoing drug sting operations aimed at stopping drugs at their source. Drug dealers are dealt with severely and almost always go to prison for their acts. In the past years, countless dealers have been arrested, convicted and taken off the streets and new efforts to curb drug traffic are already underway.
Child Abuse Team
The Child Abuse Team is a creation of the Wells County Prosecutor’s Office that allows professionals from different disciplines to work together to investigate and prosecute child abuse and child molesting cases. A protocol has been established that partners the Prosecutor’s Office with law enforcement, the Office of Family and Children, local medical personnel, local counselors, and the area schools to aid victims and their families in exposing child abuse and molesting. The program provides services to victims to lessen the trauma of the prosecution process. This joint effort has produced tremendous results and much success in prosecuting and preventing child abuse and child molesting.
Child Protection Team
The Wells County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is a founding member of the Child Protection Team. This organization brings together professionals from varying walks of life for the purpose of aiding children and families with problems, criminal and otherwise, that are impossible for them to handle alone.
Domestic Violence Task Force
The Wells County Prosecuting Attorney’s office is an active member of the Domestic Violence Task Force. In this role, this Office has help to bring the problem of domestic violence to the attention of the public. This Office maintains a strict policy regarding domestic violence cases to insure that the intervention is achieved, services are made available for victims, and that perpetrators are required to be accountable for their acts of violence.