The Back Story presents a class – What are the Standards for a District Attorney?

The Back Story will provide you with the tools to help you understand the duties and responsibilities of the District Attorney.  

The topics in the Table of Contents will be covered over the next six months.  


 Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations

ABA Standards for Criminal Justice: Prosecutorial Investigations
Approved February 2008 


A prosecutor’s investigative role, responsibilities and potential liability are different from the prosecutor’s role and responsibilities as a courtroom advocate. These Standards are intended as a guide to conduct for a prosecutor actively engaged in a criminal investigation or performing a legally mandated investigative responsibility, e.g., serving as legal advisor to an investigative grand jury or as an applicant for a warrant to intercept communications. These Standards are intended to supplement the Prosecution Function Standards, not to supplant them. These Standards may not be applicable to a prosecutor serving in a minor supporting role to an investigation undertaken and directed by law enforcement agents.



Criminal Justice Section Standards




STANDARD 1.1 The Function of These Standards

STANDARD 1.2 General Principles

STANDARD 1.3 Working With Police and Other Law Enforcement Agents

STANDARD 1.4 Victims, Potential Witnesses, and Targets During the Investigative Process

STANDARD 1.5 Contacts with the Public During the Investigative Process


PART 2: Standards for Specific Investigative Functions of the Prosecutor

STANDARD 2.1 The Decision to Initiate or to Continue an Investigation

STANDARD 2.2 Selecting Investigative Techniques

STANDARD 2.3 Use of Undercover Law Enforcement Agents and Undercover Operations

STANDARD 2.4 Use of Confidential Informants

STANDARD 2.5 Cooperation Agreements and Cooperating Individuals and Organizational Witnesses

STANDARD 2.6 The Decision to Arrest During a Continuing Criminal Investigation

STANDARD 2.7 Use of Subpoenas

STANDARD 2.8 Search Warrants

STANDARD 2.9 Use of the Investigative Powers of the Grand Jury

STANDARD 2.10 Technologically-Assisted Physical Surveillance

STANDARD 2.11 Consensual Interception, Transmission and Recording of Communications

STANDARD 2.12 Non-Consensual Electronic Surveillance

STANDARD 2.13 Conducting Parallel Civil and Criminal Investigations

STANDARD 2.14 Terminating the Investigation, Retention of Evidence and Post- Investigation Analysis

STANDARD 2.15 Guidance and Training for Line Prosecutors

STANDARD 2.16 Special Prosecutors, Independent Counsel and Special Prosecution Units

STANDARD 2.17 Use of Information, Money, or Resources Provided by Non- Governmental Sources

STANDARD 2.18 Use of Sensitive, Classified or Other Information Implicating Investigative Privileges


STANDARD 3.1 Prosecutor’s Role in Addressing Suspected Law Enforcement Misconduct

STANDARD 3.2 Prosecutor’s Role in Addressing Suspected Judicial Misconduct

STANDARD 3.3 Prosecutor’s Role in Addressing Suspected Misconduct by Defense Counsel

STANDARD 3.4 Prosecutor’s Role in Addressing Suspected Misconduct by Witnesses, Informants or Jurors

STANDARD 3.5 Illegally Obtained Evidence

STANDARD 3.6Responding to Political Pressure and Consideration of the Impact of Criminal Investigations on the Political Process

STANDARD 3.7 Review and Oversight of Criminal Investigations by Government Agencies and Officials