California Department of Justice

The Attorney General is the state's top lawyer and law enforcement official, protecting and serving the people and interests of California through a broad range of duties. The Attorney General's responsibilities include safeguarding the public from violent criminals, preserving California's spectacular natural resources, enforcing civil rights laws, and helping victims of identity theft, mortgage-related fraud, illegal business practices, and other consumer crimes.

Overseeing more than 4,500 lawyers, investigators, sworn peace officers, and other employees, the Attorney General:

  • Represents the People of California in civil and criminal matters before trial courts, appellate courts and the supreme courts of California and the United States.
  • Serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions.
  • Assists district attorneys, local law enforcement and federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice.
  • Strengthens California's law enforcement community by coordinating statewide narcotics enforcement efforts, supporting criminal investigations and providing forensic science services, identification and information services and telecommunication support.
  • Manages programs and special projects to detect and crack down on fraudulent, unfair and illegal activities that victimize consumers or threaten public safety.

Under the state Constitution, the Attorney General is elected to a four-year term in the same statewide election as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Insurance Commissioner. In 1990, California voters imposed a two-term limit on these statewide offices.