Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit
The Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit (ANCPU) is the first unit of its kind in New York City that is dedicated exclusively to the investigation and prosecution of all misdemeanor and felony crimes against animals. These crimes include the gross neglect and abandonment of pets, the failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care for pets, the intentional abuse, injuring, torturing, and killing of wild and companion animals, sexual misconduct with animals, larceny of pets, and organized dogfighting and gamecock fighting. Crimes against animals are governed generally by the Agriculture and Markets Law which carries its own definitions and procedures that are unique to these cases, including the critical and time-sensitive process for determining the status of live animal evidence at the outset of a criminal case. Members of the ANCPU liaison daily with other agencies and organizations like the NYPD Animal Cruelty Investigation Detective Squad (ACIS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). As part of the ANCPU’s initiative to prevent and address crimes against animals, the ANCPU also participates in public education and training for investigators and prosecutors, and liaisons with the public by monitoring and responding to the Queens County Animal Cruelty Help Line.
Domestic Violence Bureau
The Domestic Violence Bureau investigates and prosecutes intimate partner violence, including harassment, assault, violations of orders of protection, as well as cases involving strangulation, stalking and attempted murder. The bureau is located at the Queens Family Justice Center, where they work closely with key city agencies, community organizations and civil legal service providers, to ensure that victims are connected to safety planning and trauma-informed, supportive services. One of the bureau’s signature initiatives is the Domestic Violence Strategic Threat Alert Team (DVSTAT) – a program that identifies and enhances the prosecution of high-risk domestic violence cases after a crime has occurred but before the offender is apprehended.
For more information, email DVBureau@queensda.org or call 718.286.6550. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call our DV Helpline at 718.286.4410. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you will have the options of connecting to an Assistant District Attorney or a service provider for assistance.
Juvenile Prosecutions Unit
The Juvenile Prosecutions Unit investigates and prosecutes cases involving Juvenile Offenders (“JOs”). In 2017, New York State passed a new Raise the Age law, which raised the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old and created a new category of offenders called Adolescent Offenders (“AOs”). JO and AO cases typically involve crimes of theft and violence such as robbery and assault, but can also involve animal abuse, hate crimes, and gang-related crimes. All AO and JO cases are heard in a designated Youth Part by a specially-trained judge. Due to the age of the defendants, the Unit also collaborates with the Office’s Diversion and Alternative Sentencing Unit to recommend outcomes designed to help rehabilitate justice-involved young people. The Unit also works closely with the New York City Law Department on cases that are more appropriately handled in Family Court.
For more information, email the Director of Juvenile Prosecutions, Laura Godfrey, at Lagodfrey@queensda.org.
Special Victims Bureau
The Special Victims Bureau is charged with the investigation and prosecution of felonies involving sex crimes against adults and children, physical abuse of children, and violence against the elderly. The bureau is staffed by some of the most senior attorneys in the Office, all of whom have undergone training in trauma-informed interviewing and best practices in the forensic interviewing of children. In addition, child victims benefit from the state-of-the-art, child-focused Queens Child Advocacy Center where all child sexual and physical abuse cases are handled. The Child Advocacy Center provides, in a single location, a dedicated team of ADAs who specialize in working with children, child protective and social services provided through the NYC Administration for Children’s Services and Safe Horizon, a pediatrician affiliated with Cohen Children’s Hospital who has extensive training in providing care for abused children, and a squad of NYPD detectives whose sole focus is crimes against children.
For more information, email SpecialVictims@queensda.org or call 718.286.6505. Questions or information about registered sex offenders can be found through the NYS Sex Offender Registry at criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/contact_sor.htm, or by calling 518.417.3384 or emailing SORRequests@dcjs.ny.gov