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What is a District Attorney?

A District Attorney is a local official of a county or similar jurisdictions who represents the government in the prosecution of alleged criminals and other legal matters, making the determination if prosecutions are to be started.

In the jurisdiction's legal department, the district attorney is the highest office holder and supervises a staff of assistant district attorneys.

District attorneys may be appointed by the chief executive of the region or elected by the people, representing the state in each county. In some states, the district attorney is called a county solicitor or state's attorney.

A district attorney prosecutes crimes within the boundaries of each county in the United States and supplies legal and technical assistance to police agency's and also serves as legal advisor to the grand jury.

The district attorney investigates charges of crimes, gathering evidence against suspected criminals pending trial, forwarding the charges to the grand jury, and supervising the criminal prosecution through the trial of the accused.

In the United States, jurisdiction over crimes is divided between state and federal courts. The states have one set of district attorneys and the federal government has another.

Federal district attorneys are appointed by the president, are deputies of the Attorney General of the United States, and are required to make reports of their acts to the Attorney General's office.


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