District Attorney (D.A.) Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is District Attorney (D.A.)?

n. Elected official who is responsible for prosecuting crimes for their designated district or county. They manage the prosecutor’s office, investigate alleged crimes, and file criminal charges or present the evidence to a Grand Jury in order to bring an indictment for a crime. The District Attorney is referred to as the County Attorney or State’s Attorney in certain states. U.S. Attorneys are called Federal District Attorneys and are appointed by the President, serving as prosecutors for districts within the Department of Justice.

History and Meaning of District Attorney (D.A.)

The District Attorney (D.A.) is an elected official who is responsible for prosecuting crimes within their designated district or county. The position of District Attorney has its origins in the early days of the United States, and the role has evolved over time. Originally, the responsibility of prosecuting crimes fell to individual citizens or their legal representatives. However, as communities grew larger, the need for a dedicated legal official to handle criminal cases became more apparent. Since then, the District Attorney has developed into a crucial part of the American justice system.

Examples of District Attorney (D.A.)

  1. The District Attorney filed charges against the suspect in the high-profile murder case.
  2. The District Attorney's office is investigating allegations of police misconduct.
  3. The District Attorney secured a conviction in the white-collar crime case.
  4. The District Attorney declined to file charges in the controversial police shooting case.
  5. The District Attorney is working closely with law enforcement to combat gang violence in the community.

Legal Terms Similar to District Attorney (D.A.)

  1. County Attorney - Also known as the State's Attorney in some areas, this official serves a similar role to the District Attorney but can be found at the county level.
  2. U.S. Attorney - Federal prosecutors who are appointed by the President and serve as prosecutors for districts within the Department of Justice.
  3. Attorney General - The chief legal officer of a state or country who is responsible for representing the government in legal matters.
  4. Prosecutor - A legal official who is responsible for bringing criminal charges against an individual or organization in court.
  5. Grand Jury - A group of citizens who are selected to hear evidence presented by a prosecutor and decide whether there is enough evidence to indict a suspect.