A prosecutor is someone who represents the government or its citizens in a court of law. Prosecutor jobs exist at every level of government and include local, state, and federal. This individual may be called on to prosecute all types of criminal activity, or specific offenses such as gang activity. A prosecutor job description could also involve enforcing the laws of various government agencies such as the Social Security Administration or Bureau of Motor Vehicles. In most areas, this is an elected position, but one could be hired in or appointed to this job as well.
Public prosecutor jobs exist at all levels of government. There may be a local prosecutor, who represents the government in cases involving crimes against a city or county. A state prosecutor may represent the government in crimes against the state at either the trial or appellate level. Federal prosecutors often deal with crimes against federal statutes or those that are in the federal appeals process.
Some governments have special prosecutors to handle such things as gang activity, drug trafficking, or non-payment of child support. One of these types of prosecutor jobs could involve only those types of offenses. When working in this capacity, a prosecutor may have the authority to file charges, conduct an investigation, and make plea arrangements. Normally, a prosecutor with specialized experience is appointed to one of these positions by a high-ranking government official.
Prosecutor jobs can also be found within administrative agencies that have the power to make laws. When working in this capacity, the prosecutor's job description could include investigating crimes against that agency and enforcing its statutes. This is typically done by way of an administrative hearing, which is similar to a court trial. These positions are often filled by posting job vacancies and then interviewing and testing candidates in order to find the right person for the job.
In most jurisdictions, someone who is interested in becoming a prosecutor should first graduate from an accredited law school and pass the bar exam in order to become licensed. After doing so, an individual may register as a candidate for office with a local voter's administration. Having some trial experience is helpful, but not generally required. The term of a prosecutor varies from one location to the next, but is generally around four years. An exception to this is one who works for an administrative agency, as a prosecutor in this capacity is normally hired for an indefinite period rather than being elected.