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 prosecutes domestic violence and child abuse matters with the assistance of victim advocates;
- Early Plea Unit prosecutors make all filing decisions within the office and negotiate non-domestic violence cases prior to a case being set for trial. Click here to determine which attorney is assigned to your case;
- The Trial Team Unit handles all non-domestic violence trials, motions, review and restitution hearings;
- Specialty Court Unit prosecutors represent the City in the Mental Health Court, Community Court, and the Veterans Treatment Court.
- The Prosecution Support Team assists prosecutors during all stages of prosecution by managing discovery and assisting with trial preparation and victim/witness contact; and
- The Case Preparation Unit prepares files along with pleadings and provides prosecutors with information for various court hearings.
The Criminal Division helps people who are crime victims or witnesses through the criminal justice process. Prosecutor support staff (including paralegals, assistant paralegals and Criminal Division paralegal interns and volunteers) perform victim and witness contact about the incident. In the matter of a crime involving domestic violence, a victim's advocate is assigned for the victim and they communicate with the victim.
Anyone contacting a victim or witness is obligated to clearly identify which agency he or she represents.