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A prosecutor, or a prosecuting attorney is the one who brings forward a case against a defendant, someone who has broken the law. The prosecutor believes that the accused has directly or indirectly been involved in unlawful activity and thus shall be punished accordingly.
A prosecutor is someone who works for the public interest and brings up cases against the accused. Frequently known as a state or lead prosecutor, the attorney divulges reality of wrongdoing and shows to a judge and jury why the accused is guilty. Significant characteristics of a prosecution lawyer incorporate public interest, eagerness for public assistance, appeal and a capacity to deal with high-pressure circumstances.
There are several synonyms for the word ‘prosecutor’, here is a list:
- Prosecuting attorney
- Public prosecutor
- DA (District Attorney)
- State attorney
- Prosecuting officer
Role of the Prosecutor in the Criminal Justice System
When a case is brought to court, it is the duty of the prosecutor to prove the accused guilty through facts and concrete investigation. A criminal prosecutor is the one who brings the case in a criminal trial against the accused person involved in a crime. The crime can be as harsh as murder or rape, or a misdemeanor like verbally assaulting a minor. The goal of the criminal prosecutor is to punish the defendant, and make sure justice is served.
Ideally, these are some of the basic tasks incorporated by a prosecutor:
- Participating in the investigation of criminal activity
- Presenting evidence in court
- Assisting in determining the punishment or settlement defendants should receive
- Reviewing police reports
- Performing research
- Coordinating with additional attorneys, the police and other professionals
- Meeting with witnesses or victims
Types of Prosecutors
On every different level of the state, there are different types of prosecutors that function. Here are the types of prosecutors in the United States.
- S Attorney: These are the prosecutors that work on a federal level. The U.S. attorney general, who is the chief law enforcement officer in the United States and the head of the Department of Justice, has supervisory responsibility over U.S. attorneys, and is typically appointed by the President.
- District Attorney: These are the types of prosecutors that handle criminal cases by exposing the crimes of felons and bringing them to court. District Attorneys handle mass cases in the country and are answerable to no one.
- County Attorney: These are usually present in rural areas where they handle cases that aren’t of a massive nature. They work out of small offices and prosecute felons.
- Independent Counsel: These are responsible for high-profile cases such as charging people of the White House, or investigating the President. Independent counsels gain public confidence that the case will be investigated with impartiality and justice will be served no matter how powerful the accused is.
How to be a Prosecutor?
Becoming a criminal prosecutor isn’t an easy job, it takes years of education and qualification to be able to identify and practise as a criminal prosecutor. Here is typically what you need to do:
Bachelor’s degree: It really starts with your education. The first step is always getting a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or related subjects. Even if your grades aren’t top-notch, you should graduate with a reasonable CGPA and a good score in public speaking activities.
LSAT: Preparing for a Law School Admission Test gets you in a good law school where you can officially start your prosecutor journey. This test is mandatory and students need to get a very high score to be considered. Higher the score, higher the chances of getting into your dream school.
Law Degree: Getting a law degree after the LSATs is very important, and a Juris Doctor degree is very important for being a criminal prosecutor. During this, law students get lots of opportunities to practice while they’re also studying like working for community cases or under the mentorship of a certified lawyer. This gives them hands-on experience about prosecution cases and how to deal with those.
The Bar: The next step to becoming a prosecutor is passing the Bar. To get the license, every student must pass the state’s bar exam. This exam is very challenging and very hard for people to even pass it, and to get the license to practice law is very important.
Internship: The next step is to formally look for an internship and work for proper law firms to get experience. When all of these steps are completed, then only a person can practice as a criminal prosecutor and work for high-paying jobs.
A prosecuting attorney earns a good salary, but it may differ in each state.
|State||Hourly Wage||Annual Salary|
|New York – Prosecutor Salary||$39.49||$82,143|
|Massachusetts – Prosecutor Salary||$39.12||$81,366|
|Washington – Prosecutor Salary||$38.85||$80,798|
|New Hampshire – Prosecutor Salary||$38.07||$79,189|
|Hawaii – Prosecutor Salary||$37.57||$78,146|
|Maryland – Prosecutor Salary||$36.25||$75,407|
|Connecticut – Prosecutor Salary||$36.24||$75,383|
|Rhode Island – Prosecutor Salary||$35.95||$74,770|
|Alaska – Prosecutor Salary||$35.90||$74,674|
|Vermont – Prosecutor Salary||$35.75||$74,364|
|Nebraska – Prosecutor Salary||$35.71||$74,269|
|Nevada – Prosecutor Salary||$35.62||$74,087|
|North Dakota – Prosecutor Salary||$35.48||$73,807|
|Wyoming – Prosecutor Salary||$35.45||$73,743|
|California – Prosecutor Salary||$35.40||$73,624|
|Virginia – Prosecutor Salary||$35.24||$73,296|
|Kentucky – Prosecutor Salary||$34.53||$71,821|
|South Dakota – Prosecutor Salary||$34.45||$71,652|
|New Jersey – Prosecutor Salary||$34.37||$71,497|
|West Virginia – Prosecutor Salary||$34.33||$71,409|
|Pennsylvania – Prosecutor Salary||$34.17||$71,064|
|South Carolina – Prosecutor Salary||$33.99||$70,696|
|Minnesota – Prosecutor Salary||$33.96||$70,632|
|Oregon – Prosecutor Salary||$33.88||$70,461|
|Delaware – Prosecutor Salary||$33.87||$70,451|
|Tennessee – Prosecutor Salary||$33.85||$70,401|
|Colorado – Prosecutor Salary||$33.83||$70,357|
|Montana – Prosecutor Salary||$33.80||$70,306|
|Ohio – Prosecutor Salary||$33.60||$69,894|
|Wisconsin – Prosecutor Salary||$33.52||$69,727|
|Arizona – Prosecutor Salary||$33.45||$69,582|
|Kansas – Prosecutor Salary||$33.31||$69,282|
|Utah – Prosecutor Salary||$33.29||$69,251|
|Indiana – Prosecutor Salary||$33.24||$69,136|
|Oklahoma – Prosecutor Salary||$33.19||$69,027|
|Idaho – Prosecutor Salary||$33.09||$68,831|
|Maine – Prosecutor Salary||$33.07||$68,780|
|Louisiana – Prosecutor Salary||$32.93||$68,500|
|Iowa – Prosecutor Salary||$32.59||$67,795|
|Georgia – Prosecutor Salary||$32.27||$67,125|
|Texas – Prosecutor Salary||$31.90||$66,355|
|New Mexico – Prosecutor Salary||$31.83||$66,211|
|Michigan – Prosecutor Salary||$31.75||$66,043|
|Arkansas – Prosecutor Salary||$31.73||$65,995|
|Illinois – Prosecutor Salary||$31.56||$65,636|
|Alabama – Prosecutor Salary||$31.52||$65,555|
|Mississippi – Prosecutor Salary||$31.20||$64,891|
|Missouri – Prosecutor Salary||$31.12||$64,739|
|Florida – Prosecutor Salary||$30.42||$63,267|
|North Carolina – Prosecutor Salary||$28.96||$60,244|
Note: Sample rates have been extracted online, courtesy of ZipRecruiter.
A prosecutor is someone who brings the case against an accused, known as a defendant. The case is then fought in front of the jury and a final verdict is given. The justice system of America aims to rightfully punish the criminals and sentence them to jail for their felony.