Prosecuting Attorney Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Prosecuting Attorney, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Prosecuting Attorney?
The attorney/lawyer or government representative appointed by the government of state (as their representer) to prosecute someone for the criminal case on behalf of the plaintiff or government.
History and Meaning of Prosecuting Attorney
The term Prosecuting Attorney refers to an attorney or lawyer who acts on behalf of the government or the state in criminal proceedings to bring a case against a defendant. The prosecuting attorney's key function is to present evidence in court demonstrating that the defendant broke the law, and to work towards a conviction.
In the United States, prosecuting attorneys (also known as district attorneys) are usually elected officials, with their responsibilities changing depending on the jurisdiction they are serving in. The office of prosecuting attorney has its roots in English common law and has evolved significantly over the centuries.
Examples of Prosecuting Attorney
In a high-profile criminal case, the prosecuting attorney presents evidence to the court in order to demonstrate that the defendant is guilty of the crime that they have been charged with.
During a trial, the role of the prosecuting attorney is to question witnesses, make opening and closing statements to the jury, and to present arguments as to why the defendant should be convicted.
A prosecuting attorney might also be involved in working with law enforcement agencies to gather evidence against a defendant, and to negotiate plea bargains with defendants who agree to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
Legal Terms Similar to Prosecuting Attorney
Defense Attorney: An attorney representing a defendant in a lawsuit or criminal case.
Judge: An official in a court of law who is responsible for ensuring that legal proceedings are conducted fairly and in accordance with the law.
Grand Jury: A group of citizens who are responsible for deciding whether or not there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime.