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4. Area Prosecutions Division

The primary mission of the Area Prosecutions Division is to prosecute major criminal cases referred to the attorney general by Iowa's 99 county attorneys. Such referrals are made in two general circumstances: (1) when the county attorney has a conflict of interest that prevents that county attorney from acting in an investigation or prosecution, and (2) when an especially serious or complicated case requires prosecution resources in addition to those already available in the county attorney's office.

The Area Prosecutions Division also carries out several other special responsibilities:

  • It prosecutes civil commitments under Iowa's Sexually Violent Predator program.
  • It prosecutes criminal cases requiring specialized legal training, e.g., Medicaid fraud, violence against women, environmental crime, securities fraud, obscenity, correctional institution crime and tax crimes.
  • In conjunction with Iowa's two U.S. Attorneys, it prosecutes cases under the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.
  • It prosecutes cases involving allegations of public official misconduct, including all matters brought before the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
  • It provides services to crime victims and to those who must appear as witnesses in criminal trials prosecuted by the division.

The attorneys of the Area Prosecutions Division are veteran prosecutors who must be prepared to prosecute several Class A felonies apiece each year (first-degree murder, first-degree kidnaping, or first-degree sex abuse), in addition to handling a variety of other major investigations and prosecutions.