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District Attorney District Attorney

What the District Attorney does

District Attorneys are local politicians who prosecute criminal cases. Their main role is to bring charges against people and chase convictions. They are often described with the word “justice” but really, the legacy of the DA’s office is mainly about being tough on crime and putting away “bad guys.” Not very many folks are getting justice in a system like that.

LA’s DA is elected, in contrast to the LA County Public Defender who is appointed by the County Supervisors. Past DAs have used the office as a stepping stone to other positions like the Governor’s office or the state legislature. As a result, they can be beholden to the interests of their campaign financiers.

There are two main kinds of criminal cases:

LA’s DA mostly focuses on felony cases but they also prosecute misdemeanors for most cities in LA County. In the City of LA, the DA handles felonies and the City Attorney prosecutes the misdemeanors.


The primary functions of the DA’s office are:

Click below to learn more about our current District Attorney:

Jackie Lacey