The Criminal Division's mission is to protect the citizens of Arizona by successfully investigating and aggressively and fairly prosecuting criminal cases within the State of Arizona and in representing the State in capital and non-capital appeals.
The Criminal Division is comprised of six sections:
Capital Litigation handles all appellate and post-conviction proceedings involving the death-row inmates in Arizona. Those proceedings include the direct appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court following conviction and sentencing; state post-conviction relief proceedings in the trial court and the Arizona Supreme Court; and federal habeas proceedings in federal district court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. The Section also assists trial lawyers with advice, as well as research briefing in pending trial matters. The Section presents an annual death penalty seminar for prosecutors and assists with other seminars offered by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council.
Criminal Appeals represents the State in the Arizona Court of Appeals, Arizona Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court when criminal defendants appeal their non-capital felony convictions. The Section also represents the State in the United States District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals when those defendants challenge their convictions and sentences in federal habeas corpus petitions. In addition to representing the State in criminal appellate litigation, the Section provides periodic legal advice to county attorneys throughout Arizona regarding criminal trial prosecutions.
Criminal Prosecutions consists of four units: Fraud and Public Corruption, Drug, Medicaid Fraud Control, and Tucson Criminal Trials.
The Fraud and Public Corruption Unit prosecutes white collar crime and fraud by individuals and organized criminal groups and organizations. The Unit typically prosecutes criminal fraud in areas such as securities, insurance, real estate, banking, taxes, government, telemarketing, computers, AHCCCS provider fraud and other areas of financial activity. The Unit also focuses on gang related crimes and handles conflict matters from other counties.
The Drug Unit combats drug trafficking and money laundering organizations operating within Arizona. Additionally, the attorneys in this Unit provide legal advice and training on a statewide basis on issues involving search and seizure, research, Arizona's drug laws, prosecuting cases involving children found at drug related scenes, and courtroom testimony.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is federally-funded and charged with investigating and prosecuting Medicaid (AHCCCS) fraud; fraud in the administration of the Medicaid program; and abuse, neglect or financial exploitation occurring in Medicaid facilities or committed by Medicaid providers or their employees. Annual certification is authorized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Unit has prosecutorial authority pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 21-422 and 41-193.
The Tucson Criminal Trials Unit prosecutes crimes occurring in the Tucson area. The Unit also works with multi-jurisdictional groups in southern Arizona to prosecute abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly and vulnerable adults.
The mission of the Financial Remedies Section is the protection of legitimate commerce from the corrupting influences of criminal conduct through the application of civil remedies under Arizona's racketeering statutes. Its cases concentrate on ongoing criminal enterprises, mostly in the areas of illegal drugs and major fraud, but have also included other forms of organized crime, such as auto theft, prostitution and trafficking in stolen property. Virtually all of its cases allege the conduct of a criminal enterprise (A.R.S. § 13-2312) and money laundering in addition to the underlying criminal conduct. The Section's predecessor was created in January 1981 as the Civil Racketeering Project.
Financial Remedies is comprised of 7 attorneys, 10 investigators, 12 analysts, a property manager, paralegal and support staff. The Section attempts to identify areas of concern and implement proactive solutions, emphasizing long-term results and employing all available remedies, including coordinated regulation, civil prosecution and criminal prosecution. It attempts to identify areas of concern and implement proactive solutions.
Office of Victim Services
The Office of Victim Services (OVS) promotes and facilitates justice and healing for Arizona's crime victims. OVS provides a myriad of services to victims in cases in which the State is represented by the Attorney General's Office.
OVS provides financial and technical support to state, county and municipal law enforcement, custodial, prosecutorial, correctional agencies and courts. In addition, OVS participates in numerous collaborative efforts to provide leadership and increase awareness of the issues that crime victims face. Finally, OVS's duties encompass enforcement of victims' rights laws and resolution of victims' complaints.
The Special Investigations Section (SIS) provides investigative support to law enforcement and consumer protection services of the Attorney General's Office, as well as to law enforcement agencies across the State of Arizona. SIS provides expertise in specialized areas of law covered under the Attorney General's statutory criminal jurisdiction, which is not usually available at other law enforcement agencies, including vulnerable adult abuse, consumer fraud, drug trafficking, human smuggling, environmental crimes, medical fraud, money laundering, white collar crimes, political corruption, youth tobacco enforcement, antitrust, high technology crimes and foreign prosecution of defendants who have fled to Mexico.