A district attorney is an elected or appointed public official of a
county or designated district whose duties are governed by state law. Generally,
the duties of a district attorney are to manage the prosecutor's office,
investigate alleged crimes in cooperation with law enforcement, and file
criminal charges or bringing evidence before the Grand Jury. Specific duties
may include the following:
- To attend on the grand juries, advise them in relation to matters
of law, and examine and swear witnesses before them.
- To draw up all indictments and to prosecute all indictable offenses.
- To prosecute and defend any civil action in the circuit court in
the prosecution or defense of which the state is interested.
- To inquire whether registers have kept accurate required record books.
- If a criminal prosecution is removed from a court of his or her
circuit, county, or division of a county to a court of the United States,
to appear in that court and represent the state; and, if it is impracticable,
consistent with his or her other duties, to attend that court, he or she
may designate and appoint an attorney practicing therein to appear for
and represent the state.
- To attend each special session of the circuit court held for the
trial of persons charged with criminal offenses.
- To perform other duties and exercise other powers as are or may
be required by law.
- To give every county official an opinion in writing on all matters
connected with their respective offices, except in civil actions against
official bonds. But county commissions may retain or employ attorneys when
it is deemed advisable or necessary, and the agreed compensation to them
may be paid as are claims to grand and petit jurors.
- To, whenever requested to do so by the Governor or by the Board
of Pardons and Paroles, make a full and thorough investigation in each
case arising in their circuit, county, or division of a county, and fully
report their findings, with recommendations that pardon or parole be granted
or refused, and they shall assign fully and in detail their reasons for
- To go to any place in the state and prosecute any case or cases,
or work with any grand jury, when called upon to do so by the Attorney
General or the Governor, and to attend sessions of courts and transact
all of the duties of the district attorney in the courts whenever called
upon by the Attorney General or the Governor to do so.
- All district attorneys and all full-time assistant district attorneys
shall devote their entire time to the discharge of the duties of their
respective offices, and each and every one of the officers are prohibited
from practicing law, directly or indirectly, in any court of this state
or of the United States, or in any other manner or form whatsoever, except
in the discharge of the official duties of their offices.
- To carefully read and check the record on appeal in all criminal
cases appealed from the circuit court of their judicial circuit to the
Court of Criminal Appeals or the Supreme Court of the state, and call to
the attention of the trial judge any errors or discrepancies that may appear
in the record.
- To, whenever requested by the Attorney General, file memorandum
briefs in all criminal cases appealed from the circuit court of their judicial
circuits to the Court of Criminal Appeals or the Supreme Court of the state.
- To attend all hearings in their judicial circuits on any application
for probation and furnish the trial judge or the judge hearing the application
with all information in their possession concerning the applicant for probation.
- To represent the board of registrars of the county or counties
comprising their judicial circuits in all civil actions for damages that
are filed against the boards of registrars arising out of the performance
of their official duties, in either the circuit court of their judicial
circuits or in the United States district courts.
- To attend all clemency hearings before the Governor of the state,
in all cases arising in their judicial circuits, and furnish to the Governor,
at those hearings, all pertinent information in their possession concerning
the applicant or applicants for clemency.
- To attend all hearings in their respective judicial circuits for
revocation of probation and furnish the trial judge, or the judge hearing
the revocation, with all information in their possession concerning the
- To, at any time the grand jury is not in session, issue subpoenas
to persons to come before them, and they shall have power to administer
oaths to those persons and examine them as to any violation of the criminal
laws of the state.
- To make application to the courts to place witnesses in criminal
cases under bond for their appearance in court when they have information
that the witnesses are about to leave the state.
- To, when requested to do so, represent the chief of police of any
municipality in their respective judicial circuits in all habeas corpus
proceedings filed in the circuit courts of their respective judicial circuits.
- To, when requested to do so by the Attorney General, assist the
Attorney General in the prosecution of all impeachment proceedings which
it is his or her duty to institute before a court involving any official
or officials in their respective judicial circuits.
- To report to the State Board of Medical Examiners the name and
address of any physician who is indicted or otherwise charged with any
felony or any misdemeanor related to the practice of medicine.