Family Violence Unit
Coordinator: Deputy District Attorney Charles Cacciatore
One of the targeted prosecution programs involves the prosecution of family violence cases. The majority of the cases handled by this free standing team involve "domestic violence" prosecutions - both at the felony and misdemeanor level. This team also has responsibility for the prosecution of all physical [non-sexual] child abuse and child neglect cases. Familial physical elder abuse [or dependant adult] prosecutions are also prosecuted by this unit.
This is one of the largest prosecution teams in the office with 4 felony attorneys and 4 misdemeanor attorneys specially assigned to vertically prosecute all major stages of this demanding and stressful caseload. Almost all attorneys in the office will be rotated through this unit at some point in their career.
To aid with the domestic violence portion of the caseload there is targeted investigative resources and victim advocate resources provided the members of this team. This unit works closely with the Center for Domestic Peace, home of Marin Abused Women's Services and other community based resources to support and counsel the victims' of domestic violence.
A senior attorney, with specialized training and experience, leads this unit. This unit coordinator will carry a minimal trial caseload and primarily is tasked with reviewing and charging all incoming family violence cases. The coordinator will provide training to the members of the team assigned to the vertical trial teams and to local law enforcement agencies. The unit coordinator has community responsibilities as well. This attorney is assigned to attend the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence, a collaborative of many local resources and county family partners who have identified domestic violence as a high priority and come together to craft a unified community response to this critical issue. The unit coordinator is also tasked to meet regularly local police departments and the Center for Domestic Peace to review domestic violence incidents of concern to the parties.
The 4 family violence attorneys assigned to the felony trial departments report to the family violence coordinator and will handle any family violence case that is assigned to their felony trial team. All misdemeanor domestic violence cases set for trial will be assigned to a specific deputy district attorney assigned to the misdemeanor team well in advance of its scheduled trial date. This procedure provides for vertical prosecution of all family violence cases, physical child abuse and child neglect cases, familial physical elder abuse and dependent adult abuse cases, regardless of whether they are felonies or misdemeanors.
Members of this unit are made available for law enforcement training and have participated in recent training of all Marin County law enforcement officers in domestic violence investigations and prosecution. When needed for a community or school program members of this team are provided as their trial commitments permit.
2012 Uniform Marin County Law Enforcement Protocol for the Handling of Domestic Violence Cases (PDF File)
Endorsed by The Marin County Police Chiefs' Association
On March 8,2012
Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence Network (CCR to DV Network)
The Center for Domestic Peace (formerly Marin Abused Women’s Services), in partnership with the Marin County District Attorney’s office, has created the CCR to DV Network to effectively address and prevent the pervasiveness of domestic violence in Marin County.
Family violence has been the county’s most reported crime of of violence for 20 years, according to a 2010 Marin County grand jury report titled "Domestic Violence: Marin’s Number One Violent Crime." Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian recently stated "It’s a problem that spreads across all aspects of our community."
The first meeting of the CCR to DV Network was held in the planning chambers at the Marin County Civic Center on September 14, 2011 and was attended by some 50 representatives from 36 law enforcement agencies, county government offices, health organizations and community organizations. Meetings will occur quarterly and will be open to the public. The next meeting will be in December.
First Official Meeting Documents
December 14, 2011 Meeting
March 22, 2012 Meeting
June 13, 2012 Meeting
September 12, 2012 Meeting
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