summer Stephan

district attorney

District Attorney Summer Stephan has devoted her life to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and giving a voice to those who need help most – especially crime victims, women, children, and families.

With unmatched legal experience and a fearless focus on fairness and equality under the law, Summer Stephan protects victims of abuse and fraud, brings wrongdoers to justice, and has launched innovative programs to reduce recidivism and stop the revolving door of incarceration. 

 

Upon taking office in 2018, Summer transformed the San Diego District Attorney’s office with cutting edge crime fighting techniques, responsible reforms, police accountability and a new, comprehensive approach to keeping all our communities safe.

Summer Stephan is a District Attorney who fights to

protect every San Diegan in every neighborhood.

 

While some DA’s offer big talk, Summer’s actions speak louder than words. The DA’s new Community Justice Initiative has already steered hundreds of non-violent offenders away from jail and into community-based restorative services.  Summer’s new juvenile justice diversion program treats kids like kids by offering assistance and education, not arrest and incarceration, for youth who commit nonviolent offenses.  

 

Under Summer, the District Attorney’s Office is doing the hard work of restoring trust between communities and police - leading de-escalation training for every police officer in San Diego, rooting out discrimination with the newly formed Committee on Race Equity and prosecuting unjustified shootings committed under the color of law.

 

Summer personally prosecuted the horrific school shooting at Kelly Elementary in Carlsbad, putting the gunman away for life and taking action to prevent mass shootings with new safety protocols at 42 school districts Countywide.

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For Summer, it’s always about justice… true justice for all.  She vowed to test every rape kit in San Diego - and delivered - to protect survivors of sexual assault and track down their perpetrators.  When the pandemic hit, Summer took swift action to defend seniors from coronavirus scams and confront the dangerous surge in domestic violence putting families and kids at risk during the stay at home orders.

 

Summer pioneered San Diego’s Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division, a Special Victims Unit that’s become a national model for stopping abuse and exploitation of women and girls. The DA’s newly-established Workplace Justice Initiative is cracking down on wage theft preying on low-wage workers.  And Summer has doubled down on fighting hate crimes, tripling prosecutions and adding online reporting to combat rising violence fueled by bigotry and intolerance.

 

Summer Stephan’s smart-on-crime reforms and innovative, comprehensive approach to public safety have succeeded in lowering the incarceration rate for juvenile offenders, while keeping San Diego the safest urban county in America. She also worked to reduce felony marijuana convictions to misdemeanors for tens of thousands of Californians. That’s the real, lasting reform San Diego needs and Summer Stephan will continue the fight as our District Attorney.

 

Prior to her election as District Attorney, Summer served as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County for 28 years where she tried over 100 jury trials, including cases of sex crimes against children, human trafficking and complex homicides.  

 

The daughter of immigrants and mother of three, Summer graduated from UC Davis and earned her law degree from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She is married to Judge Dana Sabraw.