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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:           What is a United States Attorney?

A:            A U.S. Attorney is the principal litigator for the United States in federal court, working at the direction of the United States Attorney General. The U.S. Attorney for Arizona works at the direction of the United States Attorney General to handle federal cases that occur in, or have a significant connection to, Arizona. For more information, click here

Q:           What is the difference between a U.S. Attorney and an Arizona Attorney General, a County Attorney, or a City Attorney?

A:            As noted above, the U.S. Attorney handles federal cases that occur in, or have a significant connection to, Arizona, in federal court. The Arizona Attorney General handles state cases in Arizona, County Attorneys handle state cases in the counties they represent, and City Attorneys handle state and municipal cases related to the cities they represent. The differences relate to jurisdiction (authority to pursue matters by law) and venue (locations where they have authority to pursue matters).

Q:           How are U.S. Attorneys chosen?

A:            U.S. Attorneys are appointed by the President of the United States, subject to confirmation by the United States Senate.

Q:           How many U.S. Attorneys are there?

A:            There are 93 U.S. Attorneys, one for each of the 94 federal judicial districts in the United States—except Guam and the Mariana Islands which share a U.S. Attorney. Every state has at least one federal judicial district, and, therefore, at least one U.S. Attorney. The entire state of Arizona is a judicial district and has one U.S. Attorney. Each U.S. Attorney’s Office has several Assistant U.S. Attorneys to assist the U.S. Attorney to accomplish the work in the district.  

Q:           Where is the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona?

A:            The United States Attorney for the District of Arizona has offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Yuma. (Click CONTACT US for addresses.)

Q:           How many Assistant U.S. Attorneys work for the U.S. Attorney in Arizona?

A:            Arizona is an extra-large District. There are approximately 160 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Arizona, allocated between offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Yuma.

Q:           How can I find out about cases recently handled by the U.S. Attorney in Arizona?

A:            See recent press releases at the NEWS tab of this website.

Q:           Does the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigate crimes?

A:            No. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is not an investigative law enforcement agency. Crimes are generally investigated by investigative law enforcement agencies, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and tribal, state, and local police agencies. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reviews and considers reports, documents, and other evidence collected, analyzed, and referred to us by investigative law enforcement agencies.  Public requests for investigation must be made with investigative law enforcement agencies like those linked here.

Q:           What kinds of criminal cases does the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona handle?

A:            The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona prosecutes federal crimes committed within the state of Arizona, also referred to as the District of Arizona. Some examples are: bank robbery; financial crimes such as, financial fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and federal tax fraud; public corruption; civil rights crimes; National Security, Border Security, and Terrorism crimes; crimes committed on any of the 22 federally recognized Indian Reservations in Arizona; sex trafficking; child pornography; environmental crimes; immigration offenses;  firearms offenses; and controlled substance offenses.

Q:           What kinds of civil cases does the U.S. Attorney’s Office handle in Arizona?

A:            The U.S. Attorney’s Office defends the United States in most civil suits brought against federal agencies and pursues civil cases on behalf of the United States to recover damages caused to the United States.

Q:           How can I find out about the United States District Court for the District of Arizona and cases filed in that court?

A:            The United States District Court for the District of Arizona has a helpful website at www.azd.uscourts.gov.

Updated January 7, 2021

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