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Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit Overview


In recognition of the Link between animal cruelty and family violence, the Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit (ACPU) will be part of the Family Violence Unit and will consist of:

A Chief Deputy District Attorney (ACPU-CDDA),

A Supervising Deputy District Attorney (ACPU-SDDA) who supervises a Family Violence Unit,

A Lead Deputy District Attorney (Lead ACPU Prosecutor),

Two regional Deputy District Attorneys (Regional ACPU Prosecutors) specially designated to handle select ACPU cases as needed,

Two regional Juvenile Division Deputy District Attorneys (Juvenile ACPU Prosecutors),

A Senior Investigator from the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

Although not technically part of the ACPU, the Asset Forfeiture Unit will designate a prosecutor to handle asset forfeitures arising out of ACPU cases.

Role and Responsibilities of the Lead ACPU Prosecutor

Countywide, all animal cruelty cases against adults will be handled vertically, from initial case review to sentencing, by the Lead ACPU Prosecutor. Based on caseload demands and with the approval of the ACPU-SDDA, the Lead ACPU Prosecutor may refer select ACPU cases to be vertically handled by a Regional ACPU Prosecutor. All juvenile animal abuse cases will be handled vertically by a Juvenile ACPU Prosecutor.

The Lead ACPU Prosecutor will be responsible for providing our animal abuse investigation partners with advice at the initial stages of case investigation.

The Lead ACPU Prosecutor will also be responsible for education, training, and outreach activities for our Deputy District Attorneys, law enforcement agencies, animal control agencies, other Animal Cruelty Task Force (“Task Force”) partners, and to the community.



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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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