UNITS OF THE CRIMINAL DIVISION



APPEALS UNIT

The Appeals Unit of the Criminal Division is responsible for the appellate litigation of criminal cases pending in both state and federal courts. Deputy Attorneys General of the Appeals Unit serve as the chief courtroom lawyers for the State before the state supreme court. The Appeals Unit also select complex postconviction matters before the Delaware Superior Court. The Appeals Unit Deputy Attorneys General provide legal research and guidance regarding such core issues as: the taking of State appeals, participation by the State as amicus curie ("friend of the court") in litigation wherein state interests may be affected, legislative matters, and potential ramifications of court decisions. The Appeals Unit is relied upon to render immediate and regular research assistance and aid to trial attorneys in the Criminal Division.

CASE PROCESSING UNIT

The Case Processing Unitis responsible for case file management and case tracking. The Unit maintains all criminal case files, so as to provide quick access and sufficient data. The Case Processing Unit is staffed entirely by support personnel, and it is supervised by the head of the Felony Screening Unit.

CHILD PREDATOR UNIT

The first of its kind in Delaware, the Child Predator Unit will employ dedicated investigative and prosecutorial resources to identify, pursue, prosecute and punish criminals who seek to prey on Delaware's children. With specially trained and dedicated staff, the Child Predator Unit will work collaboratively with the Delaware State Police and other agencies in a proactive effort to identify and track down predators and pedophiles before they can harm our children.

FELONY SCREENING UNIT

The goal of the Felony Screening Unit is to screen and process various felony cases prior to assignment to a Deputy Attorney General in Superior Court. The unit is responsible for gathering information from the investigating police agency and making an initial determination as to whether the case should be prosecuted, and, if so, on what charges. Where appropriate, the Felony Screening Unit aims to resolve cases at the preliminary hearing. The responsibilities of the Felony Screening Unit also include the presentation of cases to the Grand Jury, the litigation of cases at the preliminary hearing stage, and other ancillary matters.

The Case Processing Unit is a division of the Felony Screening Unit. This unit is responsible for case file management and case tracking. The Unit maintains all criminal case files, so as to provide quick access and sufficient data. The Case Processing Unit is staffed entirely by support personnel, and it is supervised by the head of the Felony Screening Unit.

HOMICIDE UNIT

The Homicide Unit is responsible for handling all homicide cases that occur in New Castle County. The Unit is made up of four seasoned prosecutors. These prosecutors are on-call every day of the year and respond to the scenes of the homicides throughout the County. The assigned homicide deputy follows the case through investigation, arrest, indictment and resolution.

MISDEMEANOR TRIAL UNIT

The Misdemeanor Trial Unit prosecutes misdemeanor criminal offenses and motor vehicle offenses in the Court of Common Pleas. The Unit has recently begun a pilot project which prosecutors to criminal cases heard in Justice of the Peace Court 20. In Kent and Sussex Counties the Unit

NEW CASTLE COUNTY FELONY TRIAL UNIT

The Unit is comprised of Deputy Attorneys General, paralegals, and administrative assistants. Deputy Attorneys General in the unit litigate their cases before the New Castle County Superior Court. Cases include felony driving under the influence offenses, felony theft-related offenses, drug offenses, burglary, assault, robbery, serious gun offenses, and attempted murder. As the largest Felony Unit in the State of Delaware, the New Castle County Felony Unit services over 15 law enforcement agencies including the Delaware State Police, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Newport PD, New Castle City PD, Elsmere PD, Middletown PD, U of D PD, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware River and Bay Authority, Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco, Probation and Parole, Delaware City PD, Capitol Police Department, SPCA, Department of Corrections.

SEX CRIMES UNIT

The Sex Crimes Unit Prosecutes all sex offenders. The Unit is comprised of Deputy Attorneys General, social workers, paralegals, and administrative assistants. The social workers participate in the interviews with police officers and victims and act as liaisons between victims and the Unit's prosecutors. The social workers also assist victims in applying to VCAP for compensation.

Cases are referred to our unit from various law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement officer conducts an intake with a Deputy Attorney General to determine whether a case can be prosecuted and what charges should be filed. The prosecutor reviews the case in detail with the officer and may request follow up investigation. If a decision to arrest and indict a case is made, the deputy and social worker will discuss the case with the victim prior to the case coming to court. Occasionally, the prosecutor will want to meet with the victim prior to arrest to discuss issues with respect to the prosecution of a case.

If a case goes to trial, the prosecutor and social worker will meet with the victim prior to trial to prepare the victim for testimony in a courtroom. During trial, a social worker will be available to answer questions and guide the victim through this process. At the conclusion of the trial, if there is a verdict of guilty, the prosecutor and the social worker will explain the sentencing process. After sentencing, the social worker/prosecutor will ensure that the victim is kept apprized of the status of the case until the sentence has concluded. At this stage, the victim will be informed of any appeals, violations of probation, and release from incarceration to the extent our unit is informed of these events.

The unit also attends forensic interviews conducted by the Children's Advocacy Center. A prosecutor and social worker participate as team members with the Division of Family Services and law enforcement to evaluate a case brought into the CAC and determine if the case can be prosecuted. The CAC has been extremely valuable in limiting the number of interviews of a child victim and in preserving a disclosure of sexual abuse on videotape as evidence to use at trial, if necessary. The CAC process also ensures that a child will have a detailed physical examination, if necessary by a medical doctor who qualifies as an expert witness in child sexual abuse.

The Sex Crimes Unit handles all aspects of registered sex offenders. The Unit is responsible for assigning a Tier to a sex offender who moves into the State of Delaware or who must be tiered due to a prior conviction. A paralegal dedicated to the registration and tier designation of sex offenders primarily manages the responsibilities related to registration. The Unit works with the State Bureau of Identification, the Courts of Delaware, and the Courts of other States and the Federal Government, as well as police agencies, to assist updating the Sex Offender Registry. Deputy Attorneys General in the Unit prosecute registered sex offenders who do not lawfully comply with their registration and tier requirements.

TRAFFIC SAFETY RESOURCE PROSECUTOR PROGRAM

Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor ("TSRP") Program, a partnership with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, oversees the prosecution of vehicular homicides, impaired (drug and alcohol) driving crimes, and provides law enforcement training and community outreach for motor vehicle safety issues. The TSRP also participates in highway safety public policy and education initiatives and serves as a liaison between the many highway safety stakeholders. The TSRP is involved in all stages of the prosecution of fatal motor vehicle collision cases and works with law enforcement investigators from the time of the crash through the conclusion of the investigation in these serious, and often complex, cases.

VICTIM WITNESS UNIT

The Victim/Witness Unit is a state-wide unit which provides assistance to the victims of crimes and their families. Assistance with the criminal justice process is also provided to witnesses. The unit is staffed by social workers and clerical employees. The Victim/Witness Unit assists victims and witnesses by such means as counseling, referral for medical and/or psychological treatment, encouragement, transportation, and other services as needed. The Unit also assists in the vital process of ensuring that victims and witnesses are notified all scheduled events relating to the prosecution of a criminal case.

WILMINGTON FELONY TRIAL UNIT

This is a specialized unit dedicated to handle serious felony cases and drug cases arrising in the city of wilmington. Unit Deputies perform the same functions as deputies in the NCCFTU with a special emphasis on issue unique to the city.