Attorney vs. Prosecutor
An "attorney" is a professional who practices law and represents clients, while a "prosecutor" is an attorney who represents the state in criminal cases.
Difference Between Attorney and Prosecutor
In the realm of the legal system, the distinction between these two roles is paramount. While attorneys have a wide ambit of representation, spanning across various civil and criminal matters, prosecutors have a specialized role, focusing exclusively on criminal prosecutions, ensuring that those who break the law are held accountable.
An "attorney" is a broad term used to describe a professional who practices law. Attorneys can specialize in various areas of the law, ranging from criminal defense to real estate to family law. They represent clients in legal matters, ensuring their rights are protected and offering counsel based on legal expertise. On the contrary, a "prosecutor" is a specific type of attorney. Their role is not as varied as a general attorney's might be, as they focus solely on criminal cases.
While an attorney might represent anyone from an individual to a corporation, a prosecutor always represents the state or the federal government. Their main role is to argue the case against an individual or a group who has been accused of committing a crime. An attorney, particularly a defense attorney, would act on behalf of the accused, aiming to prove their innocence or lessen the penalties they might face. However, a prosecutor seeks to prove the guilt of the accused, acting in the interest of public safety.
A vital distinction to note is that while all prosecutors are attorneys, not all attorneys are prosecutors. After graduating from law school, an attorney might choose different paths, one of which could be to serve as a prosecutor. Still, many will opt for private practice, corporate law, or other specialties. Meanwhile, prosecutors typically work for government agencies, dedicating their expertise to pursuing justice in criminal cases.
Every attorney, regardless of their specialization, undergoes the same foundational legal training, passing the bar examination and meeting other requirements of their jurisdiction. However, once they begin practicing, their roles can differ significantly. A prosecutor, for example, will become adept at presenting evidence to juries, cross-examining witnesses, and understanding the intricacies of criminal law, whereas other attorneys might never set foot in a criminal courtroom.
Attorney vs. Prosecutor Comparison Chart
Professional who practices law
Attorney who represents the state in criminal cases
Can represent individuals, corporations, etc.
Always represents the state or federal government
Broad, can specialize in various areas
Specific to criminal law
Can work privately, for firms, or government
Typically works for government agencies
Goal in Criminal Case
Defend or represent the accused
Prove the guilt of the accused
Attorney vs. Prosecutor Definitions
A legal agent with the authority to act for another.
The elderly woman's attorney took care of her estate's legalities.
An attorney who conducts criminal cases for the state.
The prosecutor presented strong evidence against the accused.
A person qualified to practice law.
She hired an attorney to handle her divorce proceedings.
The attorney responsible for starting legal proceedings against someone.
The prosecutor filed charges against the corrupt officials.
A representative for someone in legal matters.
The businessman's attorney negotiated the contract terms.
One who enforces the law by prosecuting those who break it.
The city's prosecutor is known for his impartiality and fairness.
A professional who provides legal advice.
He consulted an attorney before making the big decision.
A legal representative of the government in criminal cases.
The prosecutor's arguments convinced the jury of the defendant's guilt.
A person who is legally qualified and licensed to represent a person in a legal matter, such as a transaction or lawsuit.
One that prosecutes.
(US) A lawyer; one who advises or represents others in legal matters as a profession.
One that initiates and carries out a legal action, especially criminal proceedings.
One such who practised in the courts of the common law.
See prosecuting attorney.
(law) a prosecuting attorney.
Annie Jay was the Wisconsin government prosecutor in the trial of a man for forging his client's signature.
An agent or representative authorized to act on someone else's behalf.
(law) a person, as a complainant, victim, or chief witness, who institutes prosecution in a criminal proceeding.
The prosecutor got the witness to admit he was lying.
An honorific given to lawyers and notaries public, or those holders by profession who also do other jobs. Usually capitalized or abbreviated as Atty.
One who prosecutes or carries on any purpose, plan, or business.
The person who institutes and carries on a criminal suit against another in the name of the government.
a government official who conducts criminal prosecutions on behalf of the state
To work as a legal attorney.
An official who seeks justice in criminal prosecutions.
The chief prosecutor has a reputation for thoroughness.
To provide with a legal attorney.
A substitute; a proxy; an agent.
And will have no attorney but myself.
One who is legally appointed by another to transact any business for him; an attorney in fact.
To perform by proxy; to employ as a proxy.
a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice
A counselor who handles legal proceedings.
After the accident, they sought an attorney to claim compensation.
Attorney vs. Prosecutor Frequently Asked Questions
Can an attorney work in both civil and criminal cases?
Yes, attorneys can represent clients in both civil and criminal matters depending on their specialization.
Is the role of a defense attorney opposite to that of a prosecutor?
Yes, in criminal cases, a defense attorney represents the accused, while the prosecutor argues against them.
How is a prosecutor different from other attorneys?
A prosecutor is an attorney who represents the government in criminal cases.
Is every prosecutor also an attorney?
Yes, all prosecutors are attorneys, but not all attorneys are prosecutors.
Where do prosecutors typically work?
Prosecutors typically work for government agencies or the district attorney's office.
Who does a prosecutor represent in court?
A prosecutor represents the state or federal government in criminal cases.
How do attorneys and prosecutors interact in a criminal case?
Attorneys (defense) and prosecutors often negotiate, present evidence, and argue their sides before a judge or jury.
What does attorney generally mean?
An attorney is a professional who practices law and provides legal counsel.
Why might someone hire an attorney?
Individuals hire attorneys for legal advice, representation, or to protect their rights in legal matters.
Can an attorney switch to being a prosecutor and vice versa?
Yes, attorneys can change roles, though it often requires additional training or experience in the new specialization.
Written byMuneeza Rehman
At Comparisons.wiki, Muneeza skillfully navigates the vast sea of information, ensuring clarity and accuracy as the lead content editor. With a keen eye for detail, she curates every comparison to enlighten and engage readers.
Edited byMuazma Batool
As a content editor, Muazma Batool is not just a grammar guru but a creative mastermind who breathes life into every word. With an eagle eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she transforms bland text into engaging content that captivates audiences and drives results.