By just mentioning a prosecutor, a person who will do anything to ensure you are charged comes to mind. This is a very biased opinion.
A prosecutor’s main job is to ensure that no crime goes unpunished. They have to gather evidence showing that a crime was committed and the offender has to bear the consequences according to the law.
Types of prosecutors
Federal prosecutors- These are mostly the US attorneys and their assistants. They prosecute persons alleged to have committed a federal crime. A federal crime is one which violates U.S.A federal laws. They include fraud, tax evasion, counterfeit just to name a few.
The prosecutor seeks the assistance of a grand jury consisting of 23 members to decide if the evidence provided by the federal government shows that the accused had probable cause to commit the crime. Probable cause means the evidence presented is strong enough to indict the accused.
If 12 or more members of the jury establish the accused has a case to answer, the accused is charged with the crime. Otherwise, he is set free.
State prosecutors – They are approached by a complainant and review the evidence presented by the complainant. They can also ask the police to investigate further on the matter, and if the evidence is sufficient, the prosecutor files formal charges.
The other approach for the state prosecutor involves:
1. Where a crime has been committed, the police investigate it, and if they come across a suspect linked to the evidence obtained, they present the evidence to the prosecutor.
2. If the prosecutor thinks the evidence is sufficient enough, they prepare a complaint which formally accuses the suspect of committing a crime.
3. If the evidence is not enough, the prosecutor can either release the accused or request the police to gather more evidence.
So what is the deal with prosecutors?
A prosecutor decides whether a person will stand trial or not. If they think there is no enough evidence, there is no need for a grand jury in federal law or a complaint in the state prosecution. The prosecutor also decides which crimes the accused will be charged with depending on the evidence gathered.
What else do they do?
Prosecutors have to ensure that the victims of the crime are well protected. Aside from that, they work hand in hand with the Crime Victims Compensation programs to ensure assistance is given to these victims in the form of money, food, and shelter.
If you want to venture into prosecution, be sure you can handle the above jobs with integrity and efficiency.