The Role of the Prosecutor 

Prosecutors are lawyers whose job it is to represent the People against a person or persons charged with violating the criminal laws of the United States, or those of a given state. In Illinois, prosecutors in Circuit Courts, like DeKalb, are called “States Attorneys.” In other states, prosecutors are often called “District Attorneys.” The States Attorneys Office also represents the State of Illinois and the County in its legal affairs, and enforces state consumer protection laws. 

Attorneys who prosecute city ordinance violation cases are called "City Attorneys." Ordinance violations can include traffic cases, misdemeanor criminal cases, but also cover nuisances, liquor violations, housing code violations, and the like. Some of these offenses are jailable, while others subject the persons charged with fines and court costs only.

If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will most likely have ongoing contact with the States Attorney or City Attorney about your case. You should not speak with the prosecutor unless your lawyer advises you to do so.

If you do not have a lawyer, there is ordinarily an opportunity to speak with the prosecutor while you are in court. At that time, the prosecutor will likely tell you what offer they are prepared to make to you in the event that you plead guilty. This is called a “plea bargain.” If you intend to get an attorney, or want to speak with one, it is best not to accept the plea bargain until you have done so. The judge will readily continue your case so that you can consult with your lawyer.