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Raise the Age/ERPO Bureau

The Raise the Age/Extreme Risk Protection Order Bureau, established by District Attorney John Flynn in 2022, consists of a team of prosecutors who oversee criminal cases in Youth Part and aid in matters relating to Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) petitions in Erie County.

Raise the Age

Adolescent offenders (16-year-olds and 17-year-olds) accused of crimes are no longer automatically prosecuted as “adults” in New York State. Under the Raise the Age legislation, cases against adolescent offenders who have been charged with low-level criminal offenses are automatically transferred to Family Court. When an adolescent offender is accused of committing a felony, the case is first heard in the Youth Part of Superior Court.

The Raise the Age Bureau is responsible for the prosecution of the most serious and violent crimes committed by adolescent offenders in Youth Part. Depending on the circumstances of the case, prosecutors may be required to file an “Extraordinary Circumstance” motion, arguing that the matter should not be transferred to Family Court due to the serious nature of the crime. If that motion is successful, the adolescent offender is prosecuted, similar to an adult, by our office in the Youth Part of Superior Court.

More information from the New York State Unified Court System:

Raise the Age Legislation

Crimes Committed by Children

Adolescent Offenders

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Commonly known as the “Red Flag Law,” the Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation was enacted in an effort to prevent at-risk individuals from causing harm to themselves or others by use of a firearm. This state law allows certain authorities and individuals to petition the Court to prevent an individual who poses a potential threat from possessing, purchasing or attempting to purchase guns in New York.

Only certain authorities and individuals who have direct knowledge that the at-risk person poses a potential threat to themselves or others can file a petition to temporarily remove their known access to firearms. Petitions can be filed by law enforcement, school administrators, District Attorneys, County Attorneys, certain medical professionals and counselors, or a member of the at-risk person’s family or household. Prosecutors in this bureau can assist these certain authorities with filing ERPO petitions.

Action may be taken quickly as temporary ERPO petitions are presented to a State Supreme Court judge who may render a decision on the day same day that the petition is presented. The Court must find that the individual is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to himself, herself, or others” in order for a temporary ERPO to be issued.

If the ERPO petition is granted by the Court, the order will temporarily prohibit the person from “purchasing, possessing, or attempted to purchase a firearm, rifle, or shotgun.” The order allows authorities to seize any firearms possessed by the individual. The ERPO order can remain in effect for up to one year and can be subject to renewal.

02/23/2023 - 3:19 pm