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The Role of the District Attorney's Office

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the just prosecution of nearly every crime under state law committed within Erie County. The work performed by this office is mandated by the Constitution and laws of the State of New York. Our office is comprised of 111 Assistant District Attorneys as well as confidential criminal investigators, paralegals, victim advocates and other support staff. 

Our prosecutors are assigned to more than 60 local, county, state and specialty courts within Erie County. In addition to annually litigating approximately 25,000 criminal cases, the District Attorney’s Office presents cases to the Grand Jury and serves as its legal advisor. Our office is also responsible for all post-conviction litigation in state and federal appellate courts.

The career of a prosecutor begins in the Buffalo City Court Bureau before advancing to a Justice Court in the cities, towns and villages. Our Assistant District Attorneys have substantial responsibility early in their careers. As they gain experience, Assistant District Attorneys have the opportunity to handle more complex felony cases in the bureaus responsible for prosecuting the most serious crimes.

In addition to prosecuting offenders and obtaining justice for victims, our office is involved in crime prevention efforts and community outreach. Our prosecutors hold educational seminars for school districts, block clubs, and other members of our community on bail reform, elder abuse, cyberbullying and other criminal justice-related topics that impact residents of Erie County.

We strive to both serve and connect with our community. Our office’s Community Outreach Team of volunteers help with various service projects in neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo and throughout Erie County.

Responsibilities and Objectives

  • Support local, state and federal law enforcement in criminal investigations
  • Present evidence and serve as legal advisor to the Grand Jury 
  • Prosecute misdemeanor and violation cases in Buffalo City Court
  • Prosecute misdemeanor cases in the Justice Courts in the cities, towns and villages
  • Prosecute felony offenses in superior court
  • Conduct post-trial proceedings in appellate courts
  • Provide supportive services to victims and witnesses of crime 
  • Provide supportive services to victims of domestic violence
  • Conduct special investigations involving public corruption and white-collar crime
  • Engage with the communities we serve through outreach and education 
  • Seek grant funding to enhance work of the office and serve the needs of the county 
  • Provide training on criminal law to law enforcement agencies and police academies
  • Provide continuing legal education to attorneys
  • Enhance school safety and educate students on crime-related topics
  • Create innovative programs to prevent crime and reduce recidivism
  • Provide S.T.O.P. DWI with monthly statistics and case dispositions to aid their efforts 
  • Support Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force to reduce overdose-related deaths
  • Support Western District of New York Human Trafficking Task Force investigate offenders involving labor and sex trafficking and assist the victims 
  • Support the Gun Violence Elimination Initiative to reduce gun-related homicides and non-fatal shootings