Why do prosecutors become defense attorneys?

Asked over 3 years ago - Colorado Springs, CO

why do prosecutors become defense attorneys? i hear prosecutors turn defense attorneys but never the other way around. why is that?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. John Lawrence Buckley

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . There are a multitude of reasons.

    I too worked in the prosecutor's office while in law school. I too witnessed what I believed to be less than ethical behavior. I recognized that the powers of the government were immense and that the exercise of those powers was often improperly applied. I've seen innocent defendants railroaded into accepting a guilty plea based on threats of incarceration.

    Others may leave the DA's office for the money. Others want the autonomy of opening their own law practice. Others still may seek a new challenge.

    No answer here should be considered to form an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with a licensed... more
  2. Kristopher Craig Miller


    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . As a former prosecutor, I have a lot of respect for that career path. Recently, however, I chose to go into private practice. Two of my motivations were to learn a new area of law and have the ability to be more entrpreneurial. I am happy with my decision.

    One of the main reasons that more prosecutors become defense attorneys as opposed to the other way around is money. Prosecutorial positions are government jobs. Thus, there is an earning cieling and you cannot grom a client base. If prosecutorial positions had less earning restraints, you would see more defense attorneys turned prosecution. That said, I actually know of a couple defense attorneys turned prosecutor.

  3. Erick Masten Platten


    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Hello there,

    Some get fired and some just want to go to the other side and help people.

    Its a personal choice they make themselves.

    I personally worked at a District Attorney's Office while I was waiting on my bar exam results and was on a provisional law license while working there. I didn't like putting people away. I like helping people.

    Some or most prosecutors get this sense of entitlement or being a made man. Its like being in a network of people that can do whatever they want to do and their not going to get in trouble for their actions.

    I could go on and on but I have a lot of respect for some lawyers that were prosecutors. But, I have no respect for those prosecutors that are doing the same things they are prosecuting people for. These people know who they are.

    I'm proud to say I'm a Criminal Defense Lawyer and my job is to protect citizens from the government.


    Erick Platten

    TYLER, TEXAS 75701

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