The County Attorney is an elected position for a four-year term. Each respective County Attorney’s Office serves as legal advisor to the Board of County Commissioners, all elected officials of the county, the health department, community and planning services and all other county departments. The County Attorney’s Office handles all general civil litigation matters and is a public prosecutor that oversees the prosecution for all felonies and a portion of the misdemeanor crimes. It also works with all law enforcement agencies as well as other state investigative agencies in the prosecution of crimes against the State of Montana.
The Attorney General is the state’s chief legal officer, chief law enforcement officer and the director of the Montana Department of Justice. As the State’s chief legal officer, the Attorney General is responsible for representing and defending Montana’s legal positions and Montana’s laws with other sovereign governments such as the federal government and other states. The Attorney General has supervisory authority over the State’s 56 County Attorneys – MCA 2-15-501 (5) – and at the request of local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, can investigate criminal violations of law.
The Prosecution Services Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office provides prosecution and civil litigation support, as well as education and training to county attorneys.
The mission of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana is: “To protect and serve the citizens of the District of Montana through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office conducts the most federal criminal prosecutions in the State of Montana. They receive criminal referrals from federal investigative agencies, state and local investigative agencies, tribes, and occasionally from citizens. They also conduct the majority of the federal civil litigation in which the United States is a party or has a financial interest.