Domestic Violence Unit
The Domestic Violence Unit handles both felonies and misdemeanors,
the latter in a special domestic violence court.
Using staff and victim advocates who are specially trained to address the unique concerns of victims of domestic violence,
the Unit seeks to engage in early and meaningful contact with victims, achieve swift and certain accountability for offenders,
and aggressively prosecute repeat offenders. Members of this Unit also actively participate in community groups such as the
Pima County Domestic Violence Task Force, organized by Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, and the O’Connor House
Domestic Violence Committee,
organized by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
The Domestic Violence Unit has collaborated with community partners to establish a comprehensive
Domestic Violence Protocol
to guide law
enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim advocates, social service agencies, and the courts in handling all aspects of domestic violence
cases. The Unit also works to prevent domestic violence, sponsoring and participating in events that raise awareness of domestic violence
Read more about the Domestic Violence
Cold Case Unit
The Cold Case Unit coordinates with special
investigative teams at the Tucson Police Department and
the Pima County Sheriff's Department to solve and
prosecute long-unsolved cases. Cases successfully
prosecuted by this unit have involved homicides that had
remained unsolved for as long as 20 years. The Pima County Attorney's
Office is committed to bringing offenders to justice, no
matter how long it may take. Solving cold
cases not only delivers justice, it also brings closure to families whose lives have been shattered by murder.
When law enforcement agencies have seized from criminals
property such as
firearms, vehicles, real estate and
cash that was used or acquired during illegal activity,
this Unit obtains court orders that require forfeiture
the property to the state. The forfeited property or
proceeds from auctions or sales of the property then can be used to aid
law enforcement and prosecution agencies to fight crime.
The Pima County Attorney's Office uses these
forfeited funds -- known as "anti-racketeering" funds --
to purchase computer equipment and software, saving
Gang & Violent
The Gang and Violent Crimes Unit prosecutes crimes committed by street gangs, ranging from murder and carjacking to drive-by
shootings and home
invasions. This unit also
works closely with law enforcement agencies to identify
gangs and their members in order to monitor gang activity in Pima County.
The County Attorney's Office dedicates special effort
to securing maximum prison time for
offenders who use weapons to commit these crimes.
Read more about the Gang and Violent Crimes Unit
The Homicide Unit prosecutes the majority of the murder cases that occur in Pima County. In 2012,
the Homicide Unit disposed of 95 cases. Sixty-two
defendants pled guilty. Twenty-three were taken to
trial, 20 of whom were found guilty.
High profile and more complicated homicides are
assigned to senior attorneys with 15 to 30
years of prosecution experience. These attorneys work
with newer prosecutors to help them gain experience
in homicide prosecution. The prosecuting attorney is involved
throughout the case, from being called to the scene at
the beginning, through the defendant's sentencing. The Unit
works with all local, state and federal law enforcement
agencies in Pima County. A panel of senior prosecutors
meets regularly to review the status of active homicide cases.
The panel reviews such issues as whether a plea
agreement may be appropriate in a particular case.
The Juvenile Unit prosecutes minors accused of criminal offenses. In fiscal year 2011-2012,
the Juvenile Unit prosecuted 3,294 cases. The offenses
charged included assaults, possession of marijuana and other illegal drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
possession of firearms, and other violent crimes.
Less serious cases may be referred to the County Attorney's Juvenile Diversion program known as the
Community Justice Boards.
Juvenile prosecutors also work closely with school administrators and school resource officers from law enforcement agencies,
attending monthly meetings of the School Multi-Agency Response Team (S.M.A.R.T.)
This Unit prosecutes misdemeanors that occur in the
unincorporated areas of Pima County, including Green
Valley and Ajo. Misdemeanors are lower level crimes
punishable by a fine and no more than six months in
In fiscal year 2011-2012, the Misdemeanors Unit handled 20,997 cases,
charging offenses including assault,
DUI, domestic violence, theft, cruelty to animals,
trespassing, and issuing bad checks.
Ajo Court House
The Appeals Unit is responsible for briefing and arguing criminal appeals in the Arizona Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
In an average year, the Unit represents the State in approximately 15 to 20 cases before the Arizona Supreme Court and over
100 cases in the Court of Appeals. The Unit also helps busy trial attorneys by writing other motions and memoranda and performing
legal research when unique issues arise before and during trial. In addition, the Units appellate attorneys regularly conduct
trainings for trial attorneys.
In 2010, the Appeals Unit successfully defended officers use of the Intoxilyzer 8000, a machine used in DUI investigations to measure
breath alcohol concentration, against challenges by criminal defendants that its software was flawed. This appellate victory facilitates
the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies and this Office to protect our community by holding drunk drivers accountable.
The Narcotics Unit works with law enforcement officers
in arresting drug dealers and seizing narcotics and
dealer assets to get drugs off the streets.
In 2012, the Narcotics Unit disposed of 1,712 cases. Of
those, 1,483 defendants pled guilty.
Sixty-two were taken to trial, 54 of whom were found guilty. The Unit encourages first-time offenders to
use the innovative new Drug Court to help them treat their addiction. The
Unit also participates in the County Attorney's
new Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison (D.T.A.P.) Program,
which provides residential drug treatment in lieu of
prison time for addicts who have committed repeated, nonviolent
Property Crimes Unit
The Property Crimes Unit handles cases involving burglary, theft, fraud and embezzlement.
In 2012, the Unit disposed of 1,552 cases. Guilty pleas
were entered by 1,348 defendants. Fourty-nine of the 63
defendants taken to trial were
The County Attorney takes a hard
stance on criminals who commit residential burglaries.
As part of holding offenders responsible for
their crimes, prosecutors in this unit seek full restitution for the victims. The
County Attorney also looks for remedies for other financial
losses suffered by the victims. The Property Crimes Unit works closely
with the Victim Compensation Unit
of the Victim Services Division
Special Victims Unit (SVU)
The Special Victims Unit prosecutes sexual and physical abuse against adults and children, including sexual assaults, stalking,
molestation, child abuse, and animal cruelty. These are among the most
difficult, emotional, and disturbing crimes the
County Attorney's Office prosecutes. The Office is dedicated to the aggressive and just prosecution
of perpetrators of sexually motivated crimes against our most vulnerable
-- most frequently children,
the elderly, and women.
In 2012, the Special Victims Unit disposed of 141 cases
involving sexual assault, sexual exploitation of
children, and other sexual offenses. Of these, 98
guilty, and 28 went to trial. Twenty of those 28 were found
This Unit coordinates with numerous other agencies, including Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center,
Las Familias Angel Center for Childhood Sexual Abuse Treatment, and the Pima County Animal Cruelty Task Force.
The Pima County Attorney's Office also spearheaded the creation of a coordinated Sexual Assault Protocol
Child Abuse Protocol
for Pima County law enforcement and social service agencies.
All convicted sex offenders must register with the Sheriff's Department. Failure to register is a felony offense that is prosecuted
by this Office. Information about where registered sex offenders reside in Pima County, by zip code, is available online at the
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Vehicular Crimes Unit
The Vehicular Crimes Unit prosecutes felony including aggravated DUI, endangerment, child abuse, felony fleeing, leaving the
scene of a collision, criminal damage, aggravated assault, and murder. In 2012,
the Vehicular Unit disposed 304 cases. Guilty pleas were
entered by 282 defendants. Of the 6 defendants who were
taken to trial, 4 of them were found guilty.
Below is a retrospective montage from the TAC 20
Year Anniversary Campaign.
Video Courtesy of
Transport Accident Commission Victoria.