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How a District Attorney Optimises Audio/Video Evidence

Contra Costa County DA Seal
“Overall, I have enjoyed using FirstDraft and VIQ Transcription Services via the online portal. It has been very efficient with allowing me to provide cleaner, more accurate transcripts in a fraction of the time that it used to take.” 

Patrick Dadnia | Case Preparation Assistant at Contra Costa District Attorney 

Key Benefits 

  • Reduces hours of reviewing audio compared to transcribing internally
  • Provides more accurate, comprehensive evidence for eDiscovery and hearings
  • Improves ability to focus on most important case responsibilities
  • Saves money by having a consistent, reliable solution to receive transcripts in the timeframe requested
  • Foreign language transcription and translation available when needed


The Contra Costa District Attorney has over 100 employees, in three different offices in California, providing a wide range of support and services for Prop 64 Relief, Subpoena Confirmation, Consumer Protection, Victim/Witness Assistance, Conviction Integrity and Office Policies. The mission of the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is to seek justice and enhance public safety for all residents by fairly, ethically, aggressively and efficiently prosecuting those who violate the law, and by working to prevent crime. 

The Contra Costa District Attorney strives to deliver Justice that is smart, reflects the needs of society and the will of the people. Their primary responsibility is protecting the rights of the innocent, as well as those charged with a crime. This includes helping steer people away from jail, holding them accountable when charged and trying to help them break the cycle of high reincarceration. Along with this, the Contra Costa District Attorney works with youth to help them make good choices/stay in school, helps people coming out of prison find jobs, assists in how to properly report crimes (like abuse and trafficking), and protects victims of crime and aids them with emotional and mental health support. 

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The Challenge  

Prior to the implementation of FirstDraft and access to VIQ Transcription Services, all transcription of audio was the responsibility of the case preparation assistants. With 10-15 transcripts needed per case, per month, this was too time-consuming and took focus away from other important tasks associated with the cases.  Given that none of them are trained typists, this required the user to listen to audio a multitude of times to ensure accuracy of the transcripts. It didn’t help that at times, it would be low quality audio from surveillance cameras/police dash cams or audio that contained Spanish. The Contra Costa District Attorney needed cost-effective, reliable solutions and services to meet their requirements and remove some of the added stress of case preparation. 

The Solution 

With FirstDraft and VIQ Transcription Services, the Contra Costa District Attorney can receive transcripts of audio in the turnaround time needed. Once audio is obtained, the user requests a FirstDraft transcript within minutes or VIQ’s verbatim typing services with a turnaround time of same-day, 3 days or 5 days, depending on the length of the audio and urgency of the information. The accurate, searchable transcript plays a key role in eDiscovery, quickly reviewing evidence for upcoming cases, providing correct quotes – anything that requires information from the audio obtained. There is also an option for Spanish translation and transcription that is beneficial with several cases. Once complete, the user receives an email with the transcript in the format that was requested. 

The Results 

Since 2019, FirstDraft and VIQ Transcription services have been the solution of choice for the Contra Costa District Attorney. The ability to have any audio transcribed into a searchable, secure document helps everyone involved in the cases from the case preparation assistants to the detectives and district attorneys. It saves countless hours of listening and reviewing audio to guarantee the most accurate and comprehensive evidence for cases. The power of choosing highly accurate ai-generated transcripts or request when audio needs to be transcribed word-for-word by professionals, saves money and improves collaboration by providing more realistic turnaround times. Externally, the solutions and services help streamline the digital discovery process with police agencies and courts. 

Interested in more information?

Get in touch by filling out the form below. If you have any immediate questions, contact our Sales team at 1300 502 819.