GENERAL COUNSEL DIVISION
The Appeals Bureau is responsible for handling all appeals and motion practice in the Appellate Division, the Appellate Term, and the New York Court of Appeals, as well as all federal habeas corpus litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Bureau also litigates the vast majority of post-judgment motions filed in Supreme Court and Criminal Court. In addition, the Bureau represents the Office in all Mental Hygiene Law proceedings pursuant to CPL § 330.20, litigating issues concerning defendants who have been found not responsible of a crime because of a mental disease or defect after a plea or trial. The Bureau also assists the Office regarding legal questions, and provides second seating on complex trials.
Civil Litigation Bureau
The Civil Litigation Bureau is comprised of several parts, including a Subpoena Compliance Unit, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Freedom of Information Law Unit, the Property Release Unit, and the Eviction Unit. The Subpoena Compliance and Freedom of Information Law Units are designed to respond to lawful requests made to the office by citizens and others. The Property Release Unit is charged with responding in a timely manner to requests by defendants and their counsel for a written release form addressed to the Police Department regarding their property or, in the alternative, an explanation of the status of their request. The Assistant District Attorneys in the Eviction Unit help to keep tenants and homeowners from suffering at the hands of neighbors who are engaging in illegal trades like drug-dealing. Similarly, the Assistant District Attorneys in the Asset Forfeiture Unit use the state civil procedure laws and some federal statutes to help ensure that criminals do not profit from their ill-gotten gains or from the instrumentalities of their crimes.
Professional Responsibility Bureau
The Professional Responsibility Bureau is comprised of three main parts: Best Practices Committee, Litigation Training Unit and an Ethics Committee.
Litigation Training Unit
The Litigation Training Unit offers continuing legal education in ethics, case management, criminal law and procedure, skills and professionalism. The Director of the Litigation Training Unit develops courses for Assistant District Attorneys at various levels of their career.
Best Practices Committee
The Best Practices Committee is comprised of a Chair and members who keep abreast of legal developments, attend meetings of the District Attorneys Association and similar organizations, and attend seminars when cutting-edge legal topics are discussed. They meet periodically to share recent developments in criminal law practice and procedures. This Committee also is responsible for the review and approval of the Litigation Training Unit curriculum.
The Ethics Committee is tasked with the responsibility of considering complaints against Assistant District Attorneys, whether the matter emanates from a defendant, civilian, police officer, defense attorney, or a judge.
Conviction Integrity Unit
The Conviction Integrity Unit is dedicated to improving the quality and integrity of prosecutions throughout Bronx County. This unit has two important functions. First, it reviews post-judgment claims of actual innocence and wrongful conviction in our most serious cases. The review is generally fact-based and extra-judicial. When appropriate, it thoroughly reinvestigates a case. Second, the Conviction Integrity Unit works closely with Executive Staff, Trial Division Supervisors, the Litigation Training Unit, and the Best Practices Committee, to help implement and follow best practices in the current prosecution of cases, and to ensure compliance with all legal and ethical obligations.
Alternatives to Incarceration Program
The mission of the Alternatives to Incarceration Program is to provide treatment opportunities to defendants who will benefit from intervention in appropriate cases. Treatment is governed by need and not the strength of a case.
The Homicide Bureau is composed of some of the most seasoned and experienced Assistant District Attorneys in the Office. The Bureau is tasked with vertical prosecution of all homicides occurring in Bronx County. The Bureau is also consulted on pre-arrest investigations and cold cases.
Gang/Major Case Bureau
The Gang/Major Case Bureau was formed to combat the street violence and narcotics activity by local street gangs or crews. The Bureau’s mission is to neutralize this violence by identifying neighborhoods where crime is spiking and determining what group (or groups) is driving the violence.
Trial Bureaus (20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70)
The Office’s six trial bureaus prosecute any felony case that is not handled by a specialized bureau. This includes, among other cases, burglaries, robberies, assaults, attempted murders, and weapons possessions. In consultation with the Motor Vehicle Prosecutions Unit, trial bureaus also handle vehicular cases, including driving while intoxicated felonies, driving with a suspended license felonies, and vehicular assaults.
Motor Vehicle Prosecutions Unit
The Chief and Deputy Chief of the Motor Vehicle Prosecutions Unit are experts in the investigation and prosecution of DWI (driving while intoxicated), aggravated unlicensed operation, reckless driving, leaving the scene and vehicular homicide and vehicular assault cases, and consult with ADAs on such matters throughout the office. The Chief is also The New York State Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor. In that capacity, the Chief organizes lectures, and provides material for police officers and prosecutors throughout New York State.
The Bias Unit handles crimes committed against persons based upon race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identification, regardless of whether the belief or perception of the defendant is correct. The unit is composed of designated Assistant District Attorneys who specialize in the prosecution of these types of cases.
SPECIAL VICTIMS DIVISION
Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau
The Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau prosecutes all misdemeanor and felony sexual assault cases involving both child and adult victims, and most misdemeanor and felony physical child abuse cases, including all child abuse fatalities. The Child Abuse Response Unit is responsible for following up on allegations from the Administration for Children’s Service (ACS) of child sexual and physical abuse, including child fatalities. At the Child Advocacy Center, Assistant District Attorneys work closely with advocates, the NYPD, ACS, and doctors in investigating and prosecuting child sexual and physical abuse.
Domestic Violence Bureau
The Domestic Violence Bureau, which focuses on intimate partner violence, applies a two-prong approach and works closely with advocates to provide safety and services for complainants. Co-located with service providers within the Family Justice Center, the Bureau can provide legal, emotional and financial support. The Domestic Violence Bureau has worked to place similar focus on offender accountability through our creative efforts to prosecute those offenders regardless of the victims’ cooperation. The addition of the Domestic Violence Complaint Unit will enable us to fully investigate these cases at their inception while simultaneously addressing the needs of the victims.
Vulnerable Persons Rights Unit
The Vulnerable Persons Rights Unit protects those who are victimized during, incident to, or in connection with, a period of hospitalization or another stay in an institution arising from a physical, mental or emotional, or other related condition. Members of the unit will prosecute those who prey upon such victims, as appropriate, by coordinating their efforts with the Justice Center for the Protection of Persons With Special Needs.
Crime Victims Assistance Unit
The Crime Victims Assistance Unit provides comprehensive services to any Bronx resident who has been a victim of a crime or to anyone who has been a victim of a crime occurring in the borough. The Crime Victims Assistance Unit provides supportive services that include: crisis intervention, advocacy, individual and group therapy for the primary victim as well as family members, and assistance in filing a claim for victim compensation through the NYS Office of Victim Services. The Crime Victims Assistance Unit also helps victims, witnesses and their families navigate their way through the court system.
Public Integrity Bureau
The Public Integrity Bureau prosecutes cases involving corruption committed by public servants, including government employees and appointed and elected officials. Many of these cases include allegations of bribery, perjury, official misconduct, larceny, falsifying business records, and offering false instruments for filing. The Public Integrity Bureau also investigates allegations of excessive force by uniformed public servants, including members of the New York City Police Department and New York City Department of Correction.
Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau
The Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau will work to dismantle criminal networks currently operating on Rikers Island. The Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau prosecutes numerous criminal offenses committed on Rikers, which may include, but is not limited to: promoting contraband, arson, serious assaults, sex offenses, murder, and attempted murder. Together with external partners, this Bureau will collaborate with the Gang/Major Case, Special Investigations and Public Integrity Bureaus. The Bureau will also integrate the technological resources of the Crime Strategies Bureau to identify commonalities and patterns that may be gleaned from each individual incident of contraband trafficking and violence.
Economic Crimes Bureau
The Economic Crimes Bureau focuses on the investigation and prosecution of a variety of fraudulent schemes, scams and criminal plots to defraud the public, businesses and government agencies in the Bronx. Subjects of investigation include Grand Larceny, Auto Theft, Identity Theft, Credit Card and Check Fraud. Revenue-cheating crimes against the government include Tax Evasion, Welfare and Housing Fraud, counterfeit currency and tax stamps, and Unemployment and Workers Compensation Insurance Frauds. Complex non-violent investigations and prosecutions pursued by the Bureau include Arson, Insurance Fraud, Environmental violations, Child Pornography, Elder Abuse, Animal Abuse, fencing stolen property, allegations of forgery and practicing the professions without a license.
Criminal Enterprise Bureau
The Criminal Enterprise Bureau proactively investigates and prosecutes a broad spectrum of organized criminal operations. This includes pattern bank robberies, murder for hire, blood sports, unsanctioned boxing, police impersonation robberies, terroristic threats, and major case vice offenses such as gambling and prostitution. In addition, the bureau investigates and prosecutes corruption and fraud in the construction industry and related unions. Among other things, the bureau is concerned with worker safety issues as well as false documents and permits filed with the city.
The Narcotics Bureau is responsible for the prosecution of all felony-level offenses and select misdemeanor offenses related to the unlawful possession and/or sale of controlled substances. Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the Narcotics Bureau work with various federal and state law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of simple possession cases along with long-term drug investigations and wiretaps.
Immigrant Affairs Unit
The Bronx is home to 15% of New York City’s immigrant population, and immigrants constitute 34% of the total population of the Bronx. The majority of Bronx residents speak another language other than English at home. Language barriers and citizenship status leave these residents vulnerable to exploitation, particularly in the areas of employment, housing and immigration documentation services. It also leaves them fearful and uninformed about how to seek help. The Immigrant Affairs Unit is aimed at combatting this injustice and providing appropriate referrals to legitimate immigration service providers. The unit is charged with receiving, investigating and prosecuting all financial fraud complaints that target and exploit immigrants. It is also committed to aiding and encouraging both documented and undocumented immigrant victims, who may fear cooperating with law enforcement, through enhanced community outreach and proactive education efforts. The unit receives complaints via a toll-free helpline, walk-ins, community organization referrals, and government agencies.
Tax and Organizational Fraud Unit
The Tax and Organizational Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes cases involving high-value corporate and personal income tax evasion, large-scale tax fraud (such as untaxed cigarette trafficking enterprises), and organized financial crime. The unit maintains strong relationships, and works closely with investigative agencies that help locate areas of high-value fraud that have avoided scrutiny, and assist in prosecuting those that defraud the county and its residents. The Unit focuses on integrating new technology, centralizing economic-crime data-collection methods, and seeks to cultivate Assistant District Attorneys who are familiar with the complexities of this type of economic crime.
Elder Abuse Unit
The Elder Abuse Unit is comprised of senior Assistant District Attorneys who specialize in financial frauds and possess an understanding of the additional challenges which elderly victims encounter. When appropriate, the Assistant District Attorneys will refer the victim to programs which will lend additional support, often utilizing the resources of the Crime Victims Assistance Unit.
Human Trafficking Unit
The Human Trafficking Unit is a subdivision of the Criminal Enterprise Bureau that investigates and prosecutes cases involving commercial sex offenses, including sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Working closely with victim advocates and specialized detectives and police officers from the NYPD Vice Major Case Bureau and the Special Victim’s Units, this unit uses cutting edge investigative techniques to build and prosecute these cases. Connecting victims with appropriate services, counseling and residential options is an important component of the bureau’s mission.
Firearms Trafficking Unit
The Firearms Trafficking Unit seeks to stem the flow of illegal weapons into the Bronx through an array of investigative techniques. These include electronic and physical surveillance as well as the development of information with connections to firearms smuggling. These are typically long term investigations, undertaken in collaboration with the NYPD Firearms Investigations Unit, the NYPD-ATF Joint Firearms Taskforce and the Bronx District Attorney’s Detective Investigators.
Special Investigations Unit
The Special Investigation Unit is dedicated to conducting long-term investigations utilizing eavesdropping and other electronic surveillance. The unit focuses on utilizing electronic surveillance to address a wide range of criminal activity, including that which has not routinely been the subject of wiretapping. The Special Investigations Unit also focuses on using the Enterprise Corruption and Major Trafficker statutes in innovative ways.
STRATEGIC ENFORCEMENT DIVISION
Crime Strategies and Case Enhancement Unit
The Crime Strategies and Case Enhancement Unit provides technical and intelligence support for all Divisions by developing or assisting investigations. The Crime Strategies and Case Enhancement Unit has built an all-purpose arrest alert which contains gathered intelligence from various sources in law enforcement. The Crime Strategies and Case Enhancement Unit builds bail applications for recidivists and high priority cases. Further, the Crime Strategies and Case Enhancement Unit provides legal support to Assistant District Attorneys regarding crime analysis, Digital Forensic Examiners to testify in court, and makes available the tools and programs used in their analyses.
Computer Forensics Laboratory
The Computer Forensics Laboratory is BXDA’s “one-stop shop” for digital evidence seized by BXDA or the NYPD at arrest or pursuant to search warrant, i.e., phones, “traditional” computers, and any other device capable of storing electronic information. The mission of this unit is to perform forensic examinations, and provide legal and technical assistance for all Assistant District Attorneys and Divisions regarding any kind of electronic evidence. The Computer Forensics Laboratory also provides supports drafting appropriate search warrants and orders that follow the fast-changing laws in digital evidence.
DNA Prosecution Unit
The DNA Prosecution Unit supports the forensic investigation and litigation that has now become critical to the prosecution of sex crimes, and many violent crimes, gun cases and property crimes. This unit also plays an essential role in numerous conviction integrity reviews. The Director conducts investigations, prosecutes cases, and provides continuous office-wide training regarding DNA science, courtroom presentations, discovery, and the admission of DNA evidence. This unit participates in state-wide committees on standards and protocols, as well as with the NYPD and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The Video Unit records homicide, police-involved shooting and serious felony crime scenes. The unit responds to precincts to record homicide suspects’ statements, and also staffs the Video Statement room to record defendants’ statements on other felonies and some misdemeanors as arrests are screened in the Complaint Room. The unit collects video surveillance at crime scenes, and duplicates, edits and prepares content for ADAs to use during grand jury presentations and trial.