District attorney
Overview
 
In many jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

s in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, a District Attorney (DA) is an elected
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 or appointed government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 official who represents the government in the prosecution
Prosecutor
The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...

 of criminal offenses
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

. The district attorney
Attorney at law
An attorney at law in the United States is a practitioner in a court of law who is legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. Alternative terms include counselor and lawyer...

 is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of assistant (ADA) or deputy district attorneys. Similar functions are carried out at the local level in other jurisdictions by officers named the Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney is the title given to the elected prosecutor of felony crimes in Kentucky and Virginia. Other states refer to similar prosecutors as District Attorney or State's Attorney....

, State's Attorney
State's Attorney
In the United States, the State's Attorney is, most commonly, an elected official who represents the State in criminal prosecutions and is often the chief law enforcement officer of their respective county, circuit...

, County Attorney
County attorney
A county attorney in many areas of the United States is the chief legal officer for a county or local judicial district. It is usually an elected position...

, or County Prosecutor.
Encyclopedia
In many jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

s in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, a District Attorney (DA) is an elected
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 or appointed government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 official who represents the government in the prosecution
Prosecutor
The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...

 of criminal offenses
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

. The district attorney
Attorney at law
An attorney at law in the United States is a practitioner in a court of law who is legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. Alternative terms include counselor and lawyer...

 is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of assistant (ADA) or deputy district attorneys. Similar functions are carried out at the local level in other jurisdictions by officers named the Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney is the title given to the elected prosecutor of felony crimes in Kentucky and Virginia. Other states refer to similar prosecutors as District Attorney or State's Attorney....

, State's Attorney
State's Attorney
In the United States, the State's Attorney is, most commonly, an elected official who represents the State in criminal prosecutions and is often the chief law enforcement officer of their respective county, circuit...

, County Attorney
County attorney
A county attorney in many areas of the United States is the chief legal officer for a county or local judicial district. It is usually an elected position...

, or County Prosecutor. Depending on the system in place in the particular state or county, district attorneys may be appointed by the chief executive of the region or elected by the people.

Equivalent and related titles and offices

Because different levels of government in the U.S. operate independently of one another, there are many differences between people who perform this function at the federal, state, and county levels. The proper title for an appointed federal prosecutor at the local level (as opposed to an appointed U.S. Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 prosecutor based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

) is United States Attorney
United States Attorney
United States Attorneys represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals. There are 93 U.S. Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands...

. Such officers are appointed by the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, serve under the Attorney General, and prosecute cases in the district courts
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 of the federal government. United States Attorneys, in turn, hire prosecutors to handle the daily affairs of the office; they are known as Assistant United States Attorneys, or AUSAs.

Most US states also have an attorney who oversees prosecutions throughout the state, normally known as the Attorney General.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, positions equivalent to a District Attorney are the Chief Crown Prosecutors (or Crown Prosecutors in the case of Deputy or Assistant District Attorneys) of the Crown Prosecution Service
Crown Prosecution Service
The Crown Prosecution Service, or CPS, is a non-ministerial department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for public prosecutions of people charged with criminal offences in England and Wales. Its role is similar to that of the longer-established Crown Office in Scotland, and the...

 in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, the Procurator Fiscal
Procurator Fiscal
A procurator fiscal is a public prosecutor in Scotland. They investigate all sudden and suspicious deaths in Scotland , conduct Fatal Accident Inquiries and handle criminal complaints against the police A procurator fiscal (pl. procurators fiscal) is a public prosecutor in Scotland. They...

 in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, and the Director of Public Prosecutions
Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
The Director of Public Prosecutions is the head of the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland, and is appointed by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The current DPP is Sir Alasdair Fraser CB QC.-See also:*Director of Public Prosecutions...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. There is no direct American equivalent of the English Director of Public Prosecutions
Director of Public Prosecutions
The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several criminal jurisdictions around the world...

, who has legal responsibility for more than one million prosecutions annually in England and Wales. Many Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries use Director of Public Prosecutions
Director of Public Prosecutions
The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several criminal jurisdictions around the world...

 or Crown Prosecutor
Crown Prosecutor
Crown Prosecutors are the public prosecutors in the legal system of Australia.Crown Prosecutors represent the Crown in right of the Commonwealth and in right of each State or Territory in criminal proceedings. Crown Prosecutors are appointed not elected and not public servants; they are private...

, while Canada uses the titles of Crown Attorney
Crown attorney
Crown Attorneys or Crown Counsel are the prosecutors in the legal system of Canada.Crown Attorneys represent the Crown and act as prosecutor in proceedings under the Criminal Code of Canada...

 or Crown Counsel.

An Executive Assistant District Attorney (EADA), sometimes called the Chief Assistant District Attorney (CADA), or the First Assistant District Attorney is a title given to senior management in a prosecutor's office. The people who hold these titles are generally considered the second-in-command for the office, and usually report directly to the head prosecutor. The exact roles and job assignments for each title vary with each individual office, but generally include management of the daily activities and supervision of specialized divisions within the office.

In some offices the positions resembles that of the Executive Officer (XO) on a naval vessel, with the elected District Attorney as the Commanding Officer (CO). He or she reports directly to the District Attorney and acts as the district attorney in his or her absence. Often, the EADA may oversee or prosecute some of the larger crimes within the jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

. In some offices the Executive Assistant District Attorney has the responsibility of hiring lawyers and other staff members in the District Attorney's office. Often, the EADA is in charge of giving press-releases and overseeing the work of the office staff. In jurisdictions where the elected prosecutor is the Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney
Commonwealth's Attorney is the title given to the elected prosecutor of felony crimes in Kentucky and Virginia. Other states refer to similar prosecutors as District Attorney or State's Attorney....

a similar position is assigned the title of First Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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