Criminal Law

Criminal law – Office of the Tribal Prosecutor

Criminal law matters are handled by the Office of the Tribal Prosecutor, which is established in C.C. 114-3. The primary responsibilities of the office are to prosecute criminal, traffic, and juvenile cases in the Cherokee Court and to prosecute in Federal Court qualifying criminal cases occurring within the jurisdiction of the Tribe. Currently, the Prosecutor’s Office has three prosecutors and a victim witness coordinator/paralegal, whose job is to assist the prosecutors. The office of the Tribal Prosecutor:

  • Provides direct representation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the prosecution of crime occurring on Tribal lands.
  • Works collaboratively with multiagency initiatives to increase capacity for monitoring how well the entire justice system is responding to crimes and advocating for improvements and strategies based on best practices and data-informed analysis, with the goal of reducing crime on Tribal lands.
  • Regularly meets with and prepares victims for Court, including victims of domestic violence, child victims, and victims of property crimes.
  • Assists the Cherokee Indian Police Department by providing guidance regarding criminal investigations, drafting of search warrants, charging decisions, jurisdictional issues, case law updates, and report writing.
  • Serves as the primary liaison between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

As of September 30, 2018, the manager of the Office of the Tribal Prosecutor is Justin Eason, Lead Prosecutor.