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Executive

EXECUTIVE
Includes the District Attorney and his first assistant.

FINANCE AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Responsible for many of the administrative functions of the office. This unit helps to prepare and administer the Office budget, handles procurement, manages the file room and the mail room, as well as administering forfeited property. This unit is also in charge of managing any grants obtained by the Office.

HIRING COMMITTEE
Comprised of veteran prosecutors, responsible for the hiring of all Assistant District Attorneys.

HUMAN RESOURCES
Administers payroll and benefits for all employees. Oversees policy development, training and compliance as well as non-legal hiring. Promotes employee relations.

INFORMATION
Handles all inquiries from the public and the press regarding cases and programs in the District Attorney's Office.

DETECTIVES
Composed of the office's detectives who perform investigations and support prosecutions in the other divisions. The office's detectives perform a myriad of functions including visual and electronic surveillance, witness location, interviews, transportation and protection, evidence recovery and processing, warrant service, subpoena service, and prisoner transport.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Forges relationships between the District Attorney's Office and the various communities that make up the City of Philadelphia.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Responsible for the computer technology used throughout the District Attorney's Office.

Investigations Division

Investigates complaints that are made directly to the District Attorney's Office and initiates inquiries into areas that raise a suspicion of criminality. These inquiries may involve the use of an investigating grand jury. The scope of the work done by the Division is wide-ranging and includes white-collar crime, consumer fraud, welfare fraud, unemployment compensation fraud, official corruption and insurance fraud.

SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS
Probes municipal corruption and police misconduct.

INSURANCE FRAUD
The Insurance Fraud Unit is staffed by prosecutors, detectives and support staff who investigate and prosecute insurance fraud found in, among other areas, the following: automobile insurance, property/homeowner's insurance, workerÕs compensation insurance, health insurance, life insurance, medical services provider practices, rate evasion/premium fraud, insurance agent/broker practices, appraiser/public adjuster practices and other professional service practices.

ECONOMIC CRIME/GOVERNMENT FRAUD
Economic Crime prosecutors and detectives handle complex cases such as identity theft, bank fraud, counterfeit check schemes, embezzlement, forgeries, and environmental crimes. This unit also works on cases of harassment, threats, intrusions and crimes involving computers. Government Fraud is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases of fraudulent schemes involving welfare and unemployment payments.

GUN VIOLENCE TASK FORCE
The Gun Violence Task Force is a joint effort by the District Attorney's Office and the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General that aggressively investigates and prosecutes the sources of illegal firearms that are used in crimes throughout Philadelphia. The task force is comprised of veteran investigators and prosecutors who are spread throughout the city in the various detective divisions, and who work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Juvenile Division

CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
Establishes the paternity of children born out of wedlock, and obtains and enforces orders of support against non-custodial parents. It is a national model and has been successful in collecting millions of dollars in child support payments from deadbeat parents.

HABITUAL OFFENDER
Vertically prosecutes juvenile defendants with prior criminal records and seeks to certify these defendants to the adult criminal courts.

JUVENILE COURT
Charges and prosecutes all arrested juveniles and special cases involving child-victims or child-witnesses. The District Attorney's approach to juvenile justice is based on the principles of Balanced and Restorative Justice, recognizing that justice is served when the community, victim and offender each receive balanced attention to their needs, seeking to restore the peace of the community that was taken by the offender when he or she committed the offense.

YOUTH AID PANEL
A juvenile diversion program that provides a community-based alternative to prosecution for first-time juvenile offenders of non-violent crimes. The offender is given the option of appearing before a panel of community volunteers rather than entering the juvenile court system. A juvenile who completes the contractual obligations imposed by the panel will avoid the stigma and possible adverse effects of a criminal record. This diversion program makes the juvenile accountable and makes him understand the seriousness of his actions and the effect that the crime has on himself, his family, and his community. There is at least one panel in each police district in the City. For more information on please refer to our Youth Aid Panel section.

Law Division

Represents the Commonwealth at all levels of the appellate process in both state and federal courts.

Appeals
The largest appellate litigation department in Pennsylvania, representing the Commonwealth at all levels of the appellate process in both state and federal courts. It has matters before the United States Supreme Court and frequently appears before both the Third Circuit and the United States District Court. Also included within its responsibilities is the offering of advice and support to other prosecutors' offices throughout the state.

Civil Litigation
Handles civil actions arising out of criminal prosecutions, monitors subpoenas and handles other extraordinary matters, such as prison conditions litigation.

Federal Litigation
Handles every aspect of Federal Habeas Corpus litigation, frequently appearing in the Third Circuit Court, as well as the United States District Court.

PCRA
Handles all proceedings under Pennsylvania's Post-Conviction Relief Act, which is a form of habeas corpus review following the direct appeal process. These proceedings include both legal argument and evidentiary hearings.

Legislation
Drafts, promotes, and lobbies for effective legislation for crime prevention and the advancement of victims rights. This unit has helped to enact statutes and constitutional amendments to give prosecutors the right to a jury trial and to hold the most dangerous defendants without bail while they are awaiting trial. The members of the Legislation unit frequently travel to the state capitol in Harrisburg and testify in legislative hearings. This unit also assists the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association as legislative liaisons to the General Assembly and Governor's office.

C.L.E.
Provides full continuing legal education programs to the entire legal staff. The courses are designed to cover topics of particular interest to prosecutors. For more information please refer to our Continuing Legal Education section.

Pre-Trial

Charging Unit
Staffed at all times, the Assistant District Attorneys determine which charges to lodge against alleged offenders within hours of arrest. They also review and approve arrest warrants and search warrants, and staff Arraignment Court.

Diversion Programs
The Philadelphia District AttorneyÕs Office provides numerous pretrial diversion programs as an alternative to prosecution. We seek to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into programs of supervision and services administered by the First Judicial District Court. The Diversion Courts Unit was established in December 2012 to provide consistent oversight and coordination between these programs and the services which are offered.


Pretrial Unit
The Pretrial Unit is responsible for handling Motions Court, Extraditions, Formal Arraignment Court, and the SMART Rooms. All expungement petitions, legal appeals from the municipal court, bail and Nebbia hearings and fugitive of justice cases are prepared any prosecuted by the ADAs and paralegals assigned to motions. These individuals work closely with staff assigned to extraditions, who work with outside jurisdictions to bring fugitives back to Philadelphia and to return fugitives captured in Philadelphia back to outside jurisdictions. Formal Arraignment Court and the SMART rooms work together to prepare all felony criminal cases in Philadelphia. This includes generating the bills of information, the staffing of formal arraignment, acquisition and passing of discovery to defense counsel, litigating bail motions and motions to quash, generating and extending pre-trial plea offers to defendants, and handling the subsequent guilty pleas. 

Traffic Court Unit
This unit consists of both paralegals and ADAs who prosecute all cases in the Philadelphia Traffic Court, which number about 100,000 cases annually. This includes trials and pleas concerning moving violations, which take place in front of hearing officers, as well as de novo appeals in the Court of Common Pleas.

Special Operations Division

Uses a number of different approaches and tools to investigate and prosecute narcotics violations, such as electronic surveillance and federal prosecution to target major trafficking organizations.

DANGEROUS DRUG OFFENDERS/F.A.S.T.
The Assistant District Attorneys assigned to this unit are cross-designated as Special Assistant United States Attorneys to prosecute cases in federal court, and the detectives are often cross-deputized as federal agents. Emphasizes the investigation and prosecution of drug kingpins and their organizations. The Federal Alternatives to State Trials (F.A.S.T.) reviews cases for federal prosecution and prosecutes narcotics-related charges and firearms charges in federal court.

PUBLIC NUISANCE TASK FORCE
Coordinates the efforts of the local police districts, community groups, and local, state and federal agencies as it attempts to alleviate drug related nuisances all over Philadelphia. This unit uses community prosecution, civil forfeiture and nuisance laws to provide relief to neighborhoods plagued by crack houses, weed stores, and nuisance bars. In an average year P.N.T.F. responds to more than 500 complaints from members of the community concerning drug houses and nuisance bars. This unit handles all forfeiture-related litigation, the maintenance of seized assets and the investigation of potentially forfeitable assets. For more information please refer to the Public Nuisance Task Force section.

TREATMENT COURT
In 1997, the District Attorney's Office helped to create and implement the Philadelphia Treatment Court. Non-violent substance abusing defendants receive drug and alcohol treatment while under the strict supervision of the Treatment Court, which is presided over by a single judge. An Assistant District Attorney screens prospective defendants and participates in the treatment phase by monitoring the defendant's progress and by contributing to the decision-making process to protect the best interests of the participant and the community.

TECHNICAL SERVICES
Responsible for the maintenance, installation and utilization of electronic surveillance operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Crime Commission in addition to investigations in the District Attorney's Office.

PRIVATE CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS
Handles complaints from victims of misdemeanor crimes which were not witnessed by a police officer. The staff takes the complaint from the individual, and the case is then reviewed for approval. The case is referred initially to mediation, and if there is no resolution, referred to the Municipal Court for trial.

TRAINING
Uses our new state-of-the-art Training Center for the orientation and training of all incoming Assistant District Attorneys.

Trial Division

The largest division in the office, the staff of the Trial Division is responsible for reviewing, charging, preparing and prosecuting most crimes committed by adults, ranging from summary offenses to homicide.

CHARGING
Staffed at all times, the Assistant District Attorneys determine which charges to lodge against alleged offenders within hours of arrest. They also review and approve arrest warrants and search warrants, and staff Arraignment Court.

COMMUNITY PROSECUTION
Community Prosecution began in Philadelphia on November 1, 2010. Groups of Assistant District Attorneys are now assigned geographically to bureaus that are responsible for a particular area or district of the city, just like police officers are now assigned. These new bureaus are East Division, South Division, Northeast Division, Northwest Division, Southwest Division, and Central Division. Criminal cases will now be held on floors according to their division at the Criminal Justice Center. View Geographic Assignments È

FAMILY VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
Staffed by experienced Assistant District Attorneys who prosecute sexual assaults of adult victims, sexual and physical assaults against children, and violent felony crimes committed within a family or household. Most cases are prosecuted vertically, with the same prosecutor in the case from arrest to sentencing.

HOMICIDE
Staffed by the most experienced trial Assistant District Attorneys who vertically prosecute all murder, manslaughter and vehicular homicide cases.

MOTIONS/COMMUNITY COURT
Assistant District Attorneys litigate all appeals from the Municipal Court and Traffic Court to the Court of Common Pleas. They also prosecute summary and misdemeanor offenders in Community Court, quickly and comprehensively addressing quality of life offenses.

VICTIM/WITNESS SERVICES
Victim/witness coordinators assist witnesses and victims throughout the criminal proceedings: notifying them of upcoming hearings, arranging transportation to court, providing support and guidance, and addressing issues of intimidation and harassment. The unit also assists crime victims with the filing of claims with the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Compensation Board.