The Criminal Prosecutions Division has four sections that aid local jurisdictions where the county may not have the expertise or the resources available to investigate or prosecute a complex case. They assist if a conflict of interest prohibits the local jurisdiction from taking part in the case.
Under Texas law, the county or district attorney has primary jurisdiction to prosecute most criminal offenses. The Office of the Attorney General assists local prosecutors at their request. The law also authorizes this agency to proffer assistance to local prosecutors. Most OAG prosecutions are undertaken on referrals.
Chapter 1, section 1.09, of the Penal Code provides that, “with the consent of the appropriate local county or district attorney, the Attorney General has concurrent jurisdiction with that consenting local prosecutor” to prosecute certain offenses, including:
- Misuse of state property or funds
- Abuse of office
- Offenses against juvenile offenders in state correctional facilities
Prosecutors and other law enforcement officials may direct their requests for investigatory and/or prosecutorial assistance to:
- The Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section is tasked with assisting local law enforcement and prosecutors in prosecuting human trafficking and related crimes, aids victims of human trafficking, and develops initiatives to improve coordination between state and local law enforcement agencies. The Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section provides training to law enforcement, prosecution, and non-governmental entities on human trafficking through outreach activities.
- The White-Collar Crime and Public Integrity Section handles election law violations, fraud, and cyber crimes.
- The Violent Crime and Major Offender Section specializes in prosecuting complex criminal cases including capital murders and sexual offenses involving victims who are children and cyber crimes.
- Additionally, the Criminal Prosecutions Division oversees the Juvenile Crime Intervention Section (JCI). JCI works to provide youth, parents, educators, and law enforcement with the resources needed to combat juvenile crime and gang activity in our communities. JCI also provides training and publishes handbooks on juvenile crime and juvenile law.