The mission of the Office of Criminal District Attorney of Tarrant County is to enhance public safety through rigorous enforcement of criminal and civil laws in an ethical, honest and just manner; to encourage rehabilitation for deserving offenders; to earn the public’s trust by setting an example of transparency in our dealings; and to assist and educate victims of crime and other members of the public.
Sharen Wilson took office as the Criminal District Attorney of Tarrant County in January 2015. As the leader of Tarrant County’s largest “law firm”, Sharen has modernized the office by reorganizing its resources and creating new specialized units to meet the changing criminal justice needs of the nation’s 15th most populous county. She created the first special units for the prosecution of Intimate Partner Violence and Elder Financial Fraud, two increasingly prevalent crimes in Tarrant County. In the spirit of her commitment to equal justice for all, she also created the county’s first Conviction Integrity Unit, which has quickly earned a national reputation for its innovative, integrated approach.
Among her achievements, Sharen has led the way statewide in ensuring accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system. She has developed comprehensive Discovery Compliance protocols for law enforcement agencies and crime labs – the first such policies in Texas – which have been adopted by DA’s offices around the state. In its most recent session, the Texas Legislature passed recommendations for district attorneys statewide regarding how to manage jailhouse informants, which were modeled after procedures created and implemented by Sharen in Tarrant County. A fiscal conservative, she has managed the office to a budget surplus each year, and was featured by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association for compiling the first Annual Report to Tarrant County residents on the status of the Criminal District Attorney’s office, which she has released each year of her tenure.
Sharen began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, where she went on to become the first female unit chief in the office’s history. After serving in private practice representing both civil and criminal clients, she was appointed by then-Governor Bill Clements to the bench of Tarrant’s Criminal District Court No. 1. During her 23 award-winning years on the bench, she earned a reputation for being Tarrant County’s toughest criminal judge – but always fair.
She is board certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is the past chair of the Criminal Law Specialization Exam Committee for Texas. She has served as an adjunct professor for TCU and Texas Wesleyan School of Law, and on faculty for the National Judicial College and National Center for State Courts.
Sharen grew up in the Amarillo area, where she graduated from Amarillo College, Texas Tech University, and the Texas Tech University School of Law. In 2016, she was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University Law School.
Sharen and her husband John reside in Fort Worth. They have four adult children, eight grandchildren and two dogs.
She is the first woman to serve as Criminal District Attorney in Tarrant County since the office was established in 1919.
The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is devoted to taking criminals off the street and making the community a safer place to live and work. Each year, more than 45,000 cases are filed in Tarrant County, ranging from capital murder to misdemeanor theft. Some of the best and brightest attorneys in the state handle the prosecution of these cases, which are assigned to 10 felony or 10 misdemeanor courts.
Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson has placed a special emphasis on the prosecution of criminals who victimize the most vulnerable members of our community, including children and the elderly. These cases are handled by prosecutors with focused expertise in physical, sexual and financial abuse.
Likewise, CDA Wilson is dedicated to ensuring the integrity of all convictions, which is why all claims of “actual innocence” are thoroughly and promptly investigated.
While handling criminal cases is the most public function of the Criminal District Attorney’s Office, the Civil Division also plays a vital role. The attorneys in the Civil Division act as general counsel for all of Tarrant County’s elected officials and appointed administrators, providing legal advice on a wide variety of topics.
The 300+ member staff of the Criminal District Attorney’s Office is made up of dedicated professionals who are committed to serving the 1.9 million citizens of Tarrant County. Their goal is to prosecute the guilty, protect the innocent and deter crime.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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