D.A. Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of D.A., written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is D.A.?

n. slang for District Attorney.

Abbreviation for District Attorney; manages prosecuter’s office, looks after law enforcement and prosecutes crimes.

History and Meaning of D.A.

D.A. is the abbreviation for District Attorney. The district attorney is a public official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. They are responsible for managing the prosecutor's office, looking after law enforcement, and bringing charges in the name of the government against persons accused of violating the law. The district attorney generally exercises extensive discretion in deciding which cases to prosecute, what charges to file, and whether to seek the death penalty.

The position of the district attorney is an essential part of the criminal justice system in the United States. The role traces back to the early colonies when the colonies appointed citizens to prosecute crimes. The position of district attorney differs from state to state; some states’ DAs are appointed, while others are elected.

Examples of D.A.

  1. The D.A. has decided to drop the charges against the defendant due to insufficient evidence.
  2. The community was outraged when the D.A. announced his decision not to file charges against the police officer involved in the shooting.
  3. The D.A. is seeking the death penalty for the defendant in the capital murder trial.
  4. The allegations were so serious that the D.A. convened a grand jury to investigate.
  5. The D.A. is investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in local government.

Legal Terms Similar to D.A.

  1. Prosecutor - A public official who acts as an attorney in a criminal case and represents the state or the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses.
  2. Attorney General - The chief legal officer of a country or state who represents the government and advises it on legal matters.
  3. Public Defender - An attorney appointed to represent persons who cannot afford to hire legal counsel.