United States Attorney General office is a powerful one that assumes responsibility for legal advice and support to governmental agencies and officials. The Attorney general prosecutes criminal cases at the trial level. Every state has its own Attorney general office that ensures the enforcement the law of the state. The US attorney general is a principal advisor to the President and other heads of department on legal issues and also represents the country in exceptional cases. This informative article outlines the duties associated with the office of the Attorney general as well as the district attorney who are instrumental in maintaining the legal framework of the state.
United States Attorney General
The Attorney General of the US is the head of the Department of Justice and functions as the chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. The US Attorney General represents the country in legal matters and provides assistance and guidance to the heads of executive departments of the Government. The United States Attorney General also appears in person before the U.S. Supreme Court when necessary, in cases of exceptional importance. The US attorney general’s office maintains records regarding the administration of the office. The onus of furnishing advice and opinions on legal matters to the President rests on the US attorney general.
The United States Attorney General John Ashcroft met ministers of Justice from the G8 countries in May 2004 to discuss pertinent issues of terrorism and crime that are on the increase. Border security and prevention of terrorism figured high on the list. Other issues of discussion between the US Attorney General and the ministers were the growing instances of cyber crime and measures to combat it.
Attorney General Office
The attorney general of a state is the chief legal officer of a state. The interests of the state are rested in the office of the Attorney general. An attorney general functions as a legal counselor for state government agencies and legislatures. Areas on the crossroads of law as well as public policy fall under the purview of the attorney general of the state. These could include child support enforcement, drug policy and environmental protection. The attorney general is usually assisted by a chief deputy who assumes responsibility for coordinating and supervising the general management of the office. The solicitor general assists the Attorney general in supervision and coordination of the appellate work. An attorney generalperforms these important functions:
- Challenging the constitutionality of legislative or administrative actions.
- Enforcing antitrust prohibitions against monopolistic enterprises.
- Handling criminal appeals and criminal prosecutions in the state.
- Enforcing laws on air and water pollution and hazardous waste.
- Prosecuting those who indulge in cases of consumer fraud and antitrust violations.
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) founded in 1907 is a body that facilitates interaction among Attorney Generals of various states. This association facilitates cooperation between states on law enforcement. The U.S. Attorney General is also an honorary member. These days the Attorneys general share enforcement authority with the Federal government, especially in the areas of trade regulation, environmental enforcement and criminal justice. The National Association of Attorneys General seeks to identify the scope and independence of the office of the Attorney General. This body also tries to create increased understanding of the law among citizens.
US District Attorney Office
The US district attorney office is the office of the chief law enforcement officer who has authority over criminal investigations and prosecution of criminal cases. The office of the District attorney assists the local police department in investigative procedures. Victim and Witness assistance programs are also coordinated by the district attorney office. The district attorney office seeks to provide justice to the community at large against those who violate the law. The office of the District Attorney is charged with the authority to take decisions on which charges will be filed in the State Court of the jurisdiction. It is up to the District Attorney to represent the jurisdiction in the District Court. This office is responsible for all criminal appeals as it is the legal representative of the people in criminal and traffic cases. The District attorney office tries to disseminate information to the general public and local law enforcement agencies in understanding topical issues related to crime. Appropriate training is also provided by the District attorney office to law enforcement agencies so that cases are investigated and completed suitably. The District Attorney offers legal advice to all elected officials in their official duties.
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Disclaimer: The articles provided herein are for information purposes only and are not destined as a substitute for specific legal advice. The reader is urged to seek professional legal counsel for their specific circumstances, as the law constantly changes and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and is subject to changeable interpretations.