Criminal Division

The work of the Criminal Division staff extends beyond the traditional role of prosecuting criminals encompassing a broad range of activities designed to reduce or prevent crime, solve problems, and empower neighborhoods.

The mission of the Criminal Division is to:

  • Assure respect for and compliance with criminal municipal ordinances by holding offenders accountable through fair and effective prosecution and enforcement.
  • Advocate on behalf of crime victims to ensure the preservation of their rights to personal safety, restitution, and participation in the criminal justice process.
  • Prevent crime and improve the quality of life in Seattle's neighborhoods by working proactively with residents, business owners, police, and other agencies to identify and resolve community problems.
  • Educate and advise the public and city departments on criminal justice issues and trends, and develop policies relating to the management of the criminal justice system including jail administration, sentencing guidelines, diversion programs, and municipal court procedures

To accomplish this mission, division attorneys and staff are divided into:

  • The Domestic Violence Unit attorneys prosecute domestic violence and child abuse matters with the assistance of ten victim advocates;
  • Two general trial units (Blue Team & Green Team) prosecute non-domestic violence related offenses;
  • Special operations attorneys represent the City in the Mental Health Court, Community Court, and the Veterans Treatment Court.
  • The D.U.I. Unit focuses on the enforcement of alcohol related crimes.
  • The Case Preparation Unit prepares files and pleadings, and assists the work of the attorneys.

Two other programs help accomplish our overall mission:

  • The Victims of Crime Program assists people in matters of restitution, obtaining information about the progress of their case, and provides information about their rights.
  • The Volunteer Program places citizens, including law and undergraduate students into positions where they may gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system and provide service to the community.