Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Prosecuting AND Defense Attorney?

 Can you be a prosecuting AND defense attorney? 

Only if you need a HELL of a lot of money...Actually, forget that answer...
It would be impossible to be both a prosecutor and defense attorney in the same jurisdiction at the same time.  Ethical obligations would not allow it.  As a prosecutor you would be privy to information that a defense attorney would not normally be privy to, and vice versa.  

Generally, being a prosecutor is a full time job that would not allow you to be a defense attorney as well.  However, there are part time prosecutor positions that afford attorney's the opportunity to do private work on the side.  Most often, those part time prosecutors practice civil law as well (ex. wills, estates, elder law, etc.). 

It is conceivable that one could be a part time prosecutor in one jurisdiction and do some criminal defense work in another jurisdiction.  I guess one could work part time as a US attorney, prosecuting federal crimes and still do some private criminal defense at the local level, for example.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Prosecuting Attorney

The Prosecuting Attorney

Who Are They? What Do They Eat? Do I Need One?

Here is a great video on the role of a prosecuting attorney. They talk about methamphetamine a lot...They are against it.

General Legal Questions Collated From The Web 

prosecuting attorney
Question: I'm in a Criminal Justice class in high school and at the end of the semester, we are having a court case. We each get a part that we have to do and I was voted to be the prosecuting attorney. I don't have much knowledge about being a prosecuting attorney, but I'm determined to win the court case because my friend is the defence attorney. Any tips? 

Answer: It's hard to say which laws would be relevant because that would depend on the case and on the kind of jurisdiction (federal or state) meaning there are different laws that apply to different places even though there are similarities in some states. All I could tell you is to master the facts of the case and make sure that no argument by defence counsel will be left unanswered. If a jury will decide the case, then a good presentation of the case will help a lot.

Do you like edgy videos about George Zimmerman? Enjoy!

Question: I thought you needed to go to college for six years to get your masters and then two additional years of law school, but recently someone said to me that only four years of college is required, plus two years of law school. I'm really confused. How many years of college does it take to become a prosecuting attorney? I could have sworn that six years of college and two years of law school was required... 

Answer: Here's how it breaks down: 1) Bachelor's degree - this usually takes 4 years, but can take from 3-? years for some people. 2) Law school - if you're in a full time program, this will take 3 years. A part time program is usually 4 years. So, on the average track, it's seven years of school to become an attorney. Good luck!

Question: I was wondering how much a defence attorney makes a year and how much a prosecuting attorney makes a year.

Answer: It depends on whether they are in public service. Obviously prosecutors are, and in Massachusetts I think they start around $35K/yr. VERY little for an attorney. I don't think public defenders make much more. Private attorneys make significantly more, especially private criminal defence attorneys and patent attorneys, which make upward for $500K plus depending on the firm and their experience.

Question: Hi There Is there a time limit for the prosecuting attorney to file charges for a person? If so, how long until it is null and void? It has been 2 months since the court date and that was canceled. Now we are waiting for him to file and he has not done so. We are in the great state of Missouri!

Answer: There is a statute of limitations, but that is satisfied when you are arraigned or indicted. From your description, statute of limitations has been satisfied. There's also a right to speedy trial. The length of time that must elapse before you can claim this right depends on the court involved, but is almost certainly longer than 2 months. Edit: In Missouri, you must be brought to trial within 70 days of your first court appearance or 90 days of being brought to custody if you are in custody. If it has been longer than that, you can move to dismiss the charges, but they can be refiled.

Question: Which Federal , State & local group, Board or Official is responsible in the State Government to oversee and investigate the County Prosecuting Attorney for wrong doing in a County? 

Answer: In my state, California, the job would go to the state attorney general unless a federal law was involved then it would be the FBI and US Attorney.

Question:  We're doing a school court case thing tomorrow, and I was elected to be the prosecuting attorney. What is your job as a prosecuting attorney? Why would someone want to be a prosecuting attorney? What skills would someone hoping to be a prosecuting attorney require? What is your goal as a prosecuting attorney? 

Answer: The P.A. is an employee of government who is hired to bring criminal charges and to try to convict the accused, either by persuading the accused to plead guilty or by convincing a jury to convict. You might want to become a prosecutor for any of a number of reason: a desire to see criminals behind bars and maybe even executed once in a while; maybe a desire to improve your legal resume, to show that you can do a variety of things in the legal profession; maybe a desire to appeal to the general public because you also intend to run for an elected office in the state or federal government. Any person with a law degree can become a prosecutor; the person in the office of P.A. probably intends to hire people who have SOME experience with doing courtroom work, but even those people who are completely inexperienced CAN get hired too, provided that they "start small," and don't get involved with prosecuting major crimes at first.