A District Attorney (D.A.) is the prosecuting officer of a criminal case (i.e., the official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses). A word of caution, if you are accused of a crime the District Attorney is not your friend. The D.A.'s job is to secure convictions.
District Attorney Offices Responsibilities
D.A.s typically make the determination about what, if any, criminal charges are filed. The police will make an arrest, but it's the district attorney who determines whether or not to prosecute. The decision to prosecute will be made after the D.A. does some investigation, and this may take the form of a preliminary hearing or a grand jury.
If the D.A. decides to proceed with the charges, then they will represent the State of Louisiana in bringing the matter to trial. However,the D.A. can offer a plea bargain, reduce charges, dismiss a case, or offer alternative "diversion programs" that can let you resolve your case without a conviction on your record.
Speaking with the District Attorney
There are many situations in which communicating with the D.A. is necessary or even advantageous. However, D.A. offices may refuse to speak to a defendant, especially one represented by an attorney. If the D.A. is willing to talk to you it is worth considering having an attorney communicate on your behalf to avoid making statements that worsen your situation rather than improve it. Furthermore, you should be sure that you fully understand your case before beginning negotiations. Evidentiary and procedural issues can be very complicated and without a careful examination of the procedure and evidence involved in your situation you may miss an opportunity to defeat the charges against you without dealing with a prosecutor.
Louisiana Attorney General's Office
The District Attorney represents the state in all criminal prosecutions, typically involving crimes committed in the parish where they will be prosecuted, but the Attorney General represents the state in litigation by or against the state. The Attorney General can bring a criminal case, but often much of their work is spent in civil litigation.
Louisiana District Attorney Offices
Louisiana has 40 Judicial Districts for which there is a District Attorney elected for each one. These districts can represent more than one parish as you can see below in the list of District Attorneys by district and the parishes they represent.
1st District Attorney (Caddo)
2nd District Attorney (Bienville/Clairborne/Jackson)
3rd District Attorney (Lincoln/Union)
4th District Attorney (Morehouse/Ouachita)
5th District Attorney (Franklin/Richland/West Carroll)
6th District Attorney (East Carroll/Madison/Tensas)
7th District Attorney (Catahoula/Concordia)
8th District Attorney (Winn)
9th District Attorney (Rapides)
10th District Attorney (Natchitoches)
11th District Attorney (DeSoto/Sabine)
12th District Attorney (Avoyelles)
13th District Attorney (Evangeline)
14th District Attorney (Calcasieu)
15th District Attorney (Acadia/Lafayette/Vermilion)
16th District Attorney (Iberia/St Martin/St Mary)
17th District Attorney (LaFourche)
18th District Attorney (Iberville/Pointe Coupee/West Baton Rouge)
19th District Attorney (East Baton Rouge)
20th District Attorney (East Feliciana/West Feliciana)
21st District Attorney (Livingston/St Helena/Tangipahoa)
22nd District Attorney (St. Tammany/Washington)
23rd District Attorney (Ascension/Assumption/St James)
24th District Attorney (Jefferson)
25th District Attorney (Plaquemines)
26th District Attorney (Bossier/Webster)
27th District Attorney (St Landry)
28th District Attorney (LaSalle)
29th District Attorney (St Charles)
30th District Attorney (Vernon)
31st District Attorney (Jefferson Davis)
32nd District Attorney (Terrebonne)
33rd District Attorney (Allen)
34th District Attorney (St Bernard)
35th District Attorney (Grant)
36th District Attorney (Beauregard)
37th District Attorney (Caldwell)
38th District Attorney (Cameron)
39th District Attorney (Red River)
40th District Attorney (St. John the Baptist)
Note: Although we strive to provide the most current contact and website information available for the D.A. offices in this state, this information is subject to change. If you have found contact or website information that is not current, please contact us.
Facing Criminal Charges Brought by Your D.A.? A Local Attorney Can Help
Is a district attorney alleging that you broke the law? Whether the crime you're charged with is a serious felony or a relatively minor misdemeanor, you should seek legal advice to help you better understand how to protect your rights during the process. Reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney near you to learn more.