Legal Dictionary

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Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA)

Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) represent the United States in criminal and civil cases. AUSA are assigned to various districts in every jurisdiction in the United States. For example, AUSA in the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California represent the federal government in virtually all litigation involving the U.S. in the Central District of California.

This includes criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the government, and actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers. There are approximately 266 AUSA working in the Central District of California, which is the second largest force in the country. The Central District of California United States Attorney's Office (USAO) is divided into three litigating Divisions (Criminal, Civil, and Tax). The main offices are in Los Angeles, but the Criminal Division has branch offices in Santa Ana and Riverside.

Assistant United States Attorneys in the Criminal Division are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases including drugs, human trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, white collar, immigration, child exploitation, mortgage fraud and general crime. They are responsible for all phases of criminal prosecution to enforce federal laws, including providing guidance to law enforcement officers, initiating criminal charges, conducting grand jury proceedings and felony trials, and handling appeals.