Missouri has 115 elected prosecutors from each of the 114 counties and the City of St. Louis. Each prosecutor is entrusted with complete discretion to charge and prosecute cases involving violations of state statutes that occur within their jurisdiction. The elected prosecutor and the concept of prosecutorial discretion is a uniquely American tradition. As the conscience of the community, the prosecutor is entrusted by the voters every four years to make decisions that protect the public. Today’s prosecutor serves as the leader in the local criminal justice system. It is not enough anymore to react to crime. Instead, modern professional prosecution involves working toward proactive ways to prevent crime.
Missouri’s prosecutors are responsible for prosecuting misdemeanor and felony offenses that occur within their county. This includes representing the State at trial, probation violation hearings, and post-conviction hearings. Additionally, the prosecuting attorney represents the State in misdemeanor cases on appeal.