A District Attorney is a lawyer who prosecutes criminal cases against people charged with crimes. The crimes can range from the most serious crimes like murder to less serious charges like vandalism. District Attorneys work for county governments and represent the government in criminal prosecutions. Each county has one District Attorney, who is in charge of the entire District Attorney's Office. Many Deputy District Attorneys work for the head District Attorney, prosecuting various kinds of criminal cases. Some Deputy District Attorneys may work on specific kinds of cases, like gang-related cases or robbery cases or homicide cases, while others may handle certain kinds of criminal proceedings, like criminal arraignments or preliminary hearings. As Deputy District Attorneys get more senior, they oversee other Deputy District Attorneys and their caseloads.
Here are a few sample district attorney job descriptions:
Assistant District Attorney I
The candidate, working under immediate supervision, performs entry-level legal work of a routine nature. Work involves litigation and legal research; drafting legal documents; and interpreting laws, rules, and regulations OR prosecutes misdemeanor cases in assigned court. Performs case evaluation, preparation and management; represents the state/client in pre-trial and evidentiary hearings and jury/court trials; and ensures effective communication with defense attorneys, court personnel, victims and family members, witnesses and other interested parties. Receives level of oversight, training and supervision based on experience and expertise in misdemeanor prosecution. Evaluates assigned cases or lawsuits by: reviewing documentation, conducting necessary legal research on applicable laws, interviewing witnesses or persons with knowledge of the cases, gathering evidence, and determining most appropriate action(s) to be taken. Drafts, files and responds to necessary motions, briefs or other legal documents for trials and/or hearings. Explains legal process to potential witnesses, prepares witnesses for court testimony, and ensures clients or victims/families are kept informed on status of cases. Gathers, prepares and presents evidence, exhibits and related material for trials or hearings. Represents the State and client in trials and hearings by: conducting jury selection, presenting opening statements, conducting direct and cross-examinations of witnesses, and presenting closing arguments. Participates in settlement or plea-bargain negotiations. Prepares necessary legal documents if settlement or plea-bargain agreement is reached and ensures signatures are secured and documents filed as required. Performs other duties as assigned. Graduation from an accredited law school is required. Requires a current license to practice law in the State of Texas.
Deputy District Attorney I/II
The candidate receives and reviews complaints filed in all types of cases. Examines the evidence, interrogates witnesses, and investigates the scene of the crime. Determines if a crime has been committed, and whether the evidence justifies prosecution. Conducts pleadings, arraignments, pretrial agreements, and other aspects of trial work. Assigns investigators to secure evidence or makes personal investigations. Confers with the judge or defense attorney regarding modification or withdrawal of charges. Selection of jurors, prosecution and dispositions of cases. Argues points of law, presents opening statements, final arguments or summations. Prepares and reviews correspondence; dictates briefs and handles appeals. Advises the public and local law enforcement agencies on legal procedures/problems. Should have following experience: Level I- None. Level II: 1 year of experience in the practice of civil or criminal law. Must have active membership in the State Bar of California.
Assistant District Attorney
Duties: Assists police in the investigation of criminal offenses. Provides legal opinions to police relative to investigations. Conducts legal research and writes opinions thereon. Advises police on the drafting of criminal complaints, search warrants and statements of probable cause. Evaluates evidence relative to propriety of criminal charges and search warrants. Assembles and evaluates evidence, interviews and prepares witnesses for various court appearances. Represents the Commonwealth in the prosecution of cases at preliminary hearings, pretrial motions, trials before court and/or jury, post-verdict motions and appeals to Superior and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania. Represents Commonwealth in Post-Conviction Relief Act hearings in the Court of Common Pleas and appeals therefrom to the Superior and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania. Represents the Commonwealth in proceedings on writs of habeas corpus in United States District Court, Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court. Represents the Commonwealth and the Court of Common Pleas in Indirect Criminal Contempt proceedings and all appeals therefrom. Represents the Commonwealth in Juvenile Court proceedings and all appeals therefrom. Represents the Commonwealth in summary appeals and appeals therefrom. Represents the Commonwealth in pre-trial conferences. Does legal research and makes oral arguments and prepares written briefs before all Commonwealth and federal courts. Responds to miscellaneous requests for legal opinions from law enforcement officers and the general public. Interacts with all other state and local law enforcement agencies and local individuals and organizations.
Qualifications: JD Degree and admission to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Some training in computers helpful. Continuing legal education required. 2 years of experience working as an attorney with some experience in criminal law. Must show proof of license from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Deputy District Attorney
The candidate will serve under an elected official. Will prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the people of the State of Oregon in Douglas County; review criminal and measure 11 police reports, determine if all investigation is complete; interview and select appropriate witness's; interview victims and conduct legal research. Draft legal documents; file formal charges; participate in all court hearings and all pre-trial motions; prepare and present cases for adjudication and/or trial; advise law enforcement officials regarding procedural questions; participate in case investigation and evidence evaluation; advise and consult with other staff; law enforcement and medical staff on criminal matters, court policies and procedures and options for prosecution and disposition. Requires regular and consistent attendance.
The candidate should have Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree. At time of appointment, must be a member of the Oregon Bar Association and possess a valid Oregon driver's license. Applicants for membership to the Oregon State Bar who are awaiting results of the July 2013 Bar examination are encouraged to apply. Must have knowledge of Oregon Revised Statutes, case law and administrative rules dealing with the criminal law and related areas; knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of the District Attorney's Office; knowledge of the principles, methods and practices of legal research and investigation; and knowledge of judicial procedure and rules of evidence; ability to plan, prepare, present and conduct case strategies for criminal or civil cases. Should have ability to interpret and explain case law, statutes, ordinances and procedures; ability to manage heavy case loads and maintain appropriate records, logs and case files; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, other agencies and the general public and the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
Assistant District Attorney
The candidate will be responsible for conducting prosecution in court proceedings on behalf of City, County, State and Federal governments. Reports to the District Attorney. Should have Juris Doctorate Degree with membership in the Georgia Bar Association, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court within one (1) year of law school graduation. During that year, (non-membership year), must be eligible to practice under the Third Year Practice Act. Should have 1 additional year of law curriculum or one (1) year of relative experience. Some trial experience preferred.
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