What does the District Attorney's Office do?

The Rockland County District Attorney's Office assists local police departments and other law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations and prosecutes criminal charges for the State against those who are accused of breaking the law. Upon receipt of a reported crime, an assistant district attorney reviews the facts and evidence and decides whether to approve the charges and proceed with prosecution.

Can I report a crime to the District Attorney's Office?

In most cases, crimes must be reported to the police department or other law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over the town or village where the incident occurred. However, there are some exceptions. Crimes involving abuse, consumer fraud, environmental crimes or those involving misconduct of public officials may be reported to the District Attorney's specialized units. Call us directly at (845) 638-5001. If you wish to call our office, we can assist you in taking the correct action.

Can you provide me with legal advice?

No. The District Attorney's Office is prevented by law from answering legal questions or offering legal advice.

Is the District Attorney my attorney or do I need to get my own lawyer?

No. The District Attorney represents the people of the State of New York in criminal court. The District Attorney does not have authority to prosecute civil cases on behalf of individual citizens.

If I get a subpoena do I have to go to court?

Yes. If you are subpoenaed to appear, you must go to court. If you fail to do so, the judge may hold you in contempt of court and impose a fine or a jail sentence. Be sure to bring your subpoena with you to court.

I am the victim of a crime and now have to testify in court. It is making me very anxious. Who can I talk to about my concerns?

The "Spirit of Rockland" Special Victims Center can help.  The one-of-a-kind facility located in Suffern partners prosecutors, law enforcement, advocacy, medical and mental health and social service agencies in one, secure location.  The Center strongly supports victims of crime and works closely with criminal justice agencies and community partners to provide advocacy and counseling services on site. A victim/witness advocate will be available to explain the process and address your concerns. To talk with a Special Victim's Prosecutor, please call (845) 638-5001.

What is an arraignment?

The arraignment is a court hearing in which the defendant is formally notified of charges that have been filed against him/her. At the arraignment the defendant is given a copy of the complaint and informed of his/her constitutional rights. The defendant may or may not enter a plea at the arraignment. If the arraignment is for a felony in a local justice court, a plea cannot be entered.

I am a defendant and I don't like the attorney who is representing me. Can I speak with an assistant district attorney about my case?

No. All prosecutors are governed by a code of ethics which prevents them from speaking directly to anyone who has an attorney. As long as you are represented by an attorney, we may speak only to your attorney. Any question that you have about your case should be answered by your attorney.

I am the victim of a crime and I want to drop charges. Can I do this?

Crimes are charged on behalf of the People of the State of New York, not on behalf of any particular victim. The decision to file or to drop charges in any criminal prosecution can only be made by an assistant district attorney. Additionally, a judge may dismiss the charge. While a victim's wishes are always important, depending on the evidence, the public's interest in prosecuting a defendant takes precedent over the desires of the victim.

I think I've been cheated by a contractor (or other person who provides labor or services). Can the District Attorney help me?

The Rockland County District Attorney's Special Investigations Unit will help, or its specialized prosecutors may refer you to another agency that can assist you.