United States Attorney


United States Attorneys represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals.

The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system.


The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case against an individual suspected of breaking the law, initiating and directing further criminal investigations, guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders, and are the only attorneys allowed to participate in grand jury proceedings.

A grand jury is a legal body that is empowered to conduct official proceedings to investigate potential criminal conduct and to determine whether criminal charges should be brought.


There are 93 U.S. Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and formerly known as and sometimes called Porto Rico, is the largest insular territory of the United States, and it is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea.

The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is an insular area and commonwealth of the United States consisting of fifteen islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.


One U.S. Attorney is assigned to each of the judicial districts, with the exception of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands where a single U.S. Attorney serves both districts.


Each U.S. Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer within his or her particular jurisdiction, acting under the guidance of the United States Attorneys' Manual.

The United States Attorneys' Manual is a looseleaf text designed as a quick and ready reference for United States Attorneys and other employees of the United States Department of Justice responsible for the prosecution of violations of federal law.


They supervise district offices of as many as 350 Assistant U.S Attorneys, with as many as 350 more support personnel.


The Assistant U.S. Attorney is the public official who represents the federal government on behalf of the U.S. Attorney.


AUSAs decide what criminal charges to bring, and when and where a person will answer to those charges.


In carrying out their duties, AUSAs have the authority to investigate persons, grant immunity to witnesses and accused criminals, and plea bargain with defendants.

The plea bargain is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor.


U.S. Attorneys and their offices are part of the Department of Justice.


U.S. Attorneys receive oversight, supervision, and administrative support services through the Justice Department's Executive Office for United States Attorneys.


Selected U.S. Attorneys participate in the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.

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