U.S. Attorneys | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction / Law

United States Attorneys conduct most of the trial work in which the United States is a party.

United States Attorneys play a crucial role in the American justice system, serving as the chief federal law enforcement officers within their respective districts. There are 93 United States Attorneys, each of whom is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They are responsible for overseeing the prosecution of federal crimes, as well as representing the United States in civil litigation.

The responsibilities of a United States Attorney can vary depending on the needs of their district. In general, however, their duties include prosecuting federal criminal cases, defending the United States in civil cases, and pursuing the collection of debts owed to the government. They may also work closely with other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the DEA, to investigate and prosecute federal crimes.

One of the primary duties of a United States Attorney is to prosecute federal criminal cases. This can include a wide range of offenses, from drug trafficking and white-collar crime to terrorism and espionage. They are responsible for building cases against defendants, presenting evidence in court, and arguing on behalf of the government. They may also work with other federal agencies, such as the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security, to investigate crimes and gather evidence.

In addition to their criminal work, United States Attorneys also represent the government in civil litigation. This can include defending the United States against lawsuits filed by private citizens, as well as pursuing civil cases against individuals or corporations accused of wrongdoing. They may also work with other government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Labor, to enforce federal laws and regulations.

One of the key strengths of the United States Attorney system is its decentralization. Each United States Attorney is appointed to serve a specific district, which allows them to develop expertise in the particular issues and challenges facing their region. This also allows them to work closely with local law enforcement agencies and community leaders to address issues of concern to their district.

Despite their decentralized structure, they are also part of a larger network of federal law enforcement agencies. They work closely with the Department of Justice, the FBI, and other agencies to ensure that federal law is enforced consistently across the country. They may also collaborate with international law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes that have cross-border implications.

Learn More

On This Site

On Other Sites

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 04/07/2023


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.