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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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§7-4-1. Duties of prosecuting attorney; further duties upon request of Attorney General.

(a) The prosecuting attorney shall attend to the criminal business of the state in the county in which he or she is elected and qualified and when the prosecuting attorney has information of the violation of any penal law committed within the county, the prosecuting attorney shall institute and prosecute all necessary and proper proceedings against the offender and may, in such case, issue or cause to be issued a summons for any witness the prosecuting attorney considers material. Every public officer shall give the prosecuting attorney information regarding the commission of any criminal offense committed within his or her county. The prosecuting attorney shall also attend to civil suits in the county in which the state or any department, commission or board thereof, is interested, and to advise, attend to, bring, prosecute or defend, as the case may be, all matters, actions, suits and proceedings in which such county or any county board of education is interested.

(b) (1) In furtherance of a prosecuting attorney’s duty to investigate and prosecute criminal offenses, a prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorneys under his or her supervision shall have the authority to arrest any person committing a violation of the criminal laws of the State of West Virginia, the United States or a violation of Rule 42 of the West Virginia Rules of Criminal Procedure which occur within the office of the prosecuting attorney and committed in the presence of the prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney.

(2) For purposes of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the arrest authority of a prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney shall be consistent with that authority vested in a deputy sheriff within the geographic limitations set forth in said subdivision.

(3) Should a prosecuting attorney desire to establish a program authorizing prosecuting attorneys and assistant prosecuting attorneys to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense purposes pursuant to the provisions of 18 U. S. C. §926B, the following criteria must be met:

(A) The prosecuting attorney’s office shall have a written policy authorizing the prosecuting attorney and his or her assistant prosecuting attorneys to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense purposes;

(B) There shall be in place in the office of the prosecuting attorney a requirement that the prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorneys must regularly qualify in the use of a firearm with standards therefor which are equal to or exceed those required of sheriff’s deputies in the county in which the prosecuting attorney was elected or appointed;

(C) The office of the prosecuting attorney shall issue a photographic identification and certification card which identify the prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorneys as law-enforcement employees of the prosecuting attorney’s office pursuant to the provisions of section twelve, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.

(4) Any policy instituted pursuant to paragraph (A), subdivision (3) of this subsection shall include provisions which: (i) Preclude or remove a person from participation in the concealed firearm program who is subject to any disciplinary or legal action which could result in the loss of the authority to participate in the program; (ii) preclude from participation persons prohibited by federal or state law from possessing or receiving a firearm and; (iii) prohibit persons from carrying a firearm pursuant to the provisions of this subsection while in an impaired state as defined in section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code.

(5) Any prosecuting attorney or assistant prosecuting attorney who participates in a program authorized by the provisions of this subsection shall be responsible, at his or her expense, for obtaining and maintaining a suitable firearm and ammunition.

(6) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting the amendments to this section during the 2017 regular session of the Legislature to authorize prosecuting attorney’s offices wishing to do so to allow prosecuting attorneys and assistant prosecuting attorneys to meet the requirements of the federal Law-Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act, 18 U. S. C. §926B.

(c) The prosecuting attorney shall keep his or her office open in the charge of a responsible person during the hours when polls are open during general, primary and special countywide election days, and the prosecuting attorney, or the prosecuting attorney’s assistant, if any, shall be available for the purpose of advising election officials. The prosecuting attorney, when requested by the Attorney General, shall perform or assist the Attorney General in performing, in the county in which the prosecuting attorney is elected, any legal duties required to be performed by the Attorney General and which are not inconsistent with the duties of the prosecuting attorney as the legal representative of the county. The prosecuting attorney, when requested by the Attorney General, shall perform or assist the Attorney General in performing, any legal duties required to be performed by the Attorney General in any county other than that in which the prosecuting attorney is elected and for the performance of these duties in any county other than that in which the prosecuting attorney is elected, the prosecuting attorney shall be paid his or her actual expenses.

Upon the request of the Attorney General, the prosecuting attorney shall make a written report of the state and condition of the several causes in which the state is a party, pending in his or her county, and upon any matters referred to the prosecuting attorney by the Attorney General as provided by law.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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