This user-centered website aims to provide the public with comprehensive data to increase transparency about the Manhattan D.A.'s operations and enhance understanding of the justice system. Here, you will find up-to-date information about the Office's prosecutions and learn more about the Manhattan D.A.'s efforts to ensure public safety and promote justice for all.
You can also visit the Resources tab for an educational overview of the criminal justice system, a glossary of key terms, and information about how to use this website. The Office welcomes your feedback as it continues to enhance this site.
Follow how a case progresses from arrest to sentencing through Manhattan's criminal justice system.
The District Attorney's Office ("D.A.'s Office") represents the People of the State of New York in bringing charges against an accused individual in a court of law. The Manhattan D.A.'s Office has the responsibility and authority to investigate and prosecute crimes in the borough of Manhattan. The District Attorney ("D.A.") is a lawyer, elected by the residents of their jurisdiction, to represent the state in criminal proceedings against those accused of crimes. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the current Manhattan D.A., was sworn into office on January 1, 2010. There are approximately 550 Assistant D.A.s ("ADAs") who work in the Office, and approximately 1,000 support staff.
In most cases, an Assistant D.A. first reviews ("screens") an arrest in the Office's Early Case Assessment Bureau ("ECAB"). The Assistant D.A. evaluates the sufficiency of the evidence to support the charges originally brought by the police and determines the final charges. The Assistant D.A. may choose to: 1) decline to prosecute the case completely; 2) uphold the charge or adopt an equivalent charge; 3) upgrade the charge due to factors like newly discovered evidence; or 4) downgrade the charge due to insufficient evidence. The Assistant D.A. then drafts the misdemeanor or felony complaint (the charging document).
In 2019, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office screened 46,117 arrests, a 55.2% decrease in arrests screened since 2013.
In some instances, after evaluating the evidence, the D.A.'s Office may determine that there is insufficient reasonable cause to believe an individual committed a specific offense, and will decline to prosecute a case. In other instances, the D.A.'s Office may decline to prosecute a case while law enforcement continues to gather evidence.
The D.A.'s Office may likewise decline to prosecute a case if an individual successfully completes a pre-arraignment diversion program (a light-touch, community-based intervention). In Manhattan, pre-arraignment diversion programs are available to most individuals who are: 1) charged with low-level offenses (Project Reset), 2) charged with failing to answer a summons or pay a fine for having their driver's licenses suspended (Project Green Light), or 3) charged with misdemeanor drug possession (Manhattan Hope).
Following an arrest, eligible individuals are issued a issued a Desk Appearance Ticket ("DAT") (described in detail below), and complete mandated programming at a community-based organization prior to their arraignment date. These trauma-informed interventions address underlying needs that may have led to an individual's justice involvement, such as substance use disorders, and may include counseling, naloxone training, restorative justice groups, arts-based therapy and wraparound service delivery.
Upon successful completion of a pre-arraignment diversion program, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office declines to prosecute the case without the individual having to ever step foot in a courtroom.
In 2019, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office declined to prosecute 4,208 cases (9.1% of all cases screened).
The Court is charged with ensuring the fair application of the law. Judges preside over all legal proceedings in court. A courtroom assigned to a particular judge or designated to handle a certain type of proceeding is referred to as a "court part."
Almost all felony and misdemeanor cases in Manhattan are arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court. Most cases begin in one of two Arraignment Parts, one of which operate seven days a week, 365 days a year. Every day, an Arraignment Part is open through until 1 AM.
If an individual's case is not disposed of at arraignment (described below), the case is transferred to another court part. Misdemeanors and violations are handled in Criminal Court, while the Supreme Court of the State of New York presides over felony cases. Criminal Court handles misdemeanor and violation cases and initiates most felony cases. The Supreme Court of the State of New York tries felony cases. (Note: in New York State, the highest appellate court is the Court of Appeals, not, as one might expect from the name, the Supreme Court.)
Most criminal proceedings begin when a person is taken into police custody. An arrest is lawful when the police officer has reasonable cause to believe the person being arrested has committed a particular offense. The New York City Police Department ("NYPD") is the primary law enforcement agency in New York City.
In the majority of cases, an arrest is the first stage in the criminal justice process. Once an individual is in custody, they may be identified by a victim or witness, and they may make a statement to the police. They will be searched, and officers are entitled to seize any contraband or evidence found during the search. Evidence may include the proceeds of the crime, any tools used to commit the crime, distinctive clothing, or other materials and information that may connect the individual with the crime. The arresting officer takes seized property to be vouchered by the NYPD Property Clerk's Division.
Once transported to the precinct, the accused individual will be fingerprinted and have their photograph taken. The arresting officer also prepares the arrest report, the complaint report, fills out property vouchers, and other relevant police forms at this time.
In many cases, the arresting officer may give the arrested individual a Desk Appearance Ticket ("DAT"). A DAT releases the accused individual from custody before arraignment and requires the individual to appear for arraignment at a specified date. As of January 2020, legislative reforms have greatly expanded which crimes are mandatory for a DAT. Arresting officers are now required to issue a DAT for most misdemeanor offenses and some felony offenses. Exceptions exist when an individual has a warrant out for their arrest, has previously been issued a bench warrant for failing to return to court, or is unable or unwilling to provide proper identification, amongst select other reasons.
If an individual does not meet the criteria for a DAT, they will be taken from the local precinct to Central Booking at 100 Centre Street for further processing. This is commonly referred to as a "live" or "online" arrest.
In New York, there are three major classes of offenses for which a person may be prosecuted: violations/infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Violations/ infractions are the least serious offenses, while felonies are the most serious offenses. Some are defined in the Penal Law of New York State, while others can be found in different statutes, such as the Vehicle and Traffic Law, or in local ordinances, such as the New York City Administrative Code.
Violations/infractions are offenses that carry the lowest sanction, and are defined as non-crimes. Thus, a person does not receive a criminal record when they are convicted of a violation/infraction. The maximum term of imprisonment is fifteen days. Examples of violations/ infractions are public urination, drinking alcohol in public, and disorderly conduct. Due to internal and citywide policy changes aimed at the reduction of criminal prosecution of low-level, non-violent offenses, most violations and infractions are no longer prosecuted by the Manhattan D.A.'s Office. Instead, individuals are issued summonses, and diverted to Summons Court. The Manhattan D.A.'s Office does, however, continue to prosecute certain violations that affect public safety, such as driving while impaired, possession of illegal knives, possession of synthetic cannabinoids, and violations under the Penal Law.
A misdemeanor is the least serious crime. It is more serious than a violation/infraction. Misdemeanors are typically divided into two classes: Class A and Class B. The maximum terms of imprisonment are 364 days for a Class A misdemeanor, and three months for a Class B misdemeanor. Examples of misdemeanors are petty theft and assault where the victim suffers non-serious injuries.
A felony is the most serious crime. Felonies are crimes for which more than one year of imprisonment may be imposed. Felonies are divided into the following classes: Class A-I, Class A-II, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E. A Class A-I felony is the most serious and a Class E felony is the least serious. Examples of felonies are robbery, burglary, grand larceny, most sex crimes, and murder.
In New York City, arrested individuals are usually brought before a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court for arraignment within 24 hours, if they are not issued a DAT. In some instances, an individual's case may originate in Supreme Court, bypassing Criminal Court arraignments.
The Court assigns a docket number to each case, gathers all of the arraignment paperwork, including the complaint and criminal history records, and brings the arrested individual into the Arraignment Part. Before their arraignment, the arrested individual meets with an attorney. If they cannot afford an attorney, one is appointed prior to the arraignment. They then appear before the presiding Criminal Court Judge and are formally charged with a crime.
In 2019, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office arraigned 41,791 cases (8,633 with a felony top charge, 32,266 with a misdemeanor top charge, and 889 with a violation/infraction top charge).
The conclusion of a case, absent a trial conviction, is referred to as its "disposition." Many misdemeanor and violation/infraction cases are disposed of at arraignment, particularly for non-violent offenses such as shoplifting, drug possession, or disorderly conduct. 27.7% of cases that are disposed of at arraignment do not result in a criminal conviction. When this occurs, an individual may consent to an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal ("ACD"), which is a dismissal of all charges following a period (typically six months) of being arrest-free, or they may plead guilty to a violation/infraction, which are non-crimes. Almost no felony cases are resolved at arraignment. If a case is disposed of at arraignment, it means that the charged individual:
Pleads guilty (to the top charge or a reduced charge);
Consents to an ACD; or
Has their case dismissed (e.g., the complaint was drafted insufficiently).
In 2019, 31.7% of misdemeanor cases and 86.6% of violation/infraction cases were disposed of at arraignment.
The judge delivers a sentence after the case is disposed. Common sentences at arraignment include mandated participation in a community-based program, time served, or, on rare occasions, a jail sentence. Individuals that consent to an ACD may or may not be mandated to programming or other conditions.
The presiding judge determines release status for individuals whose cases are not disposed of at arraignment. While an Assistant D.A. may request a specific release status, judges ultimately make this decision. Charged individuals may: 1) be released on their own recognizance ("ROR") with the requirement that they return to court at a future date; 2) be released with conditions, such as enrollment in Supervised Release (a supervisory program that provides intensive monitoring, frequent face-to-face and telephone contact with program staff, and referrals to outside agencies for additional services for individuals who remain at liberty while awaiting trial); 3) have monetary bail set on their case; or 4) be remanded into custody. The judge must set the least restrictive conditions necessary that will reasonably assure an individual's return to court.
If an individual who is released on their own recognizance, placed on Supervised Release, or has posted bail does not appear in court on their next appointed court date, the judge will issue a bench warrant for the charged individual's arrest after notifying the individual and giving them 48 hours to appear.
Bail is collateral, often in the form of cash, bond, property, or money paid with a credit card, which must be posted by the charged individual to ensure their return to court on a future date.
If appropriate, the Assistant D.A. in the Arraignment Part will request that bail be set and give reasons for the bail conditions requested. The judge will then determine whether set bail, and in what amount. If the charged individual posts the amount of money required to make bail, they will be released.
If the charged individual has another case pending in which the individual is being held, a bail amount of $1 might be set by the judge on subsequent cases. This is referred to as "dollar bail." Dollar bail helps ensure that any time an individual spends in custody before the disposition of their case will count toward the individual satisfying an incarceratory sentence if convicted.
On January 1, 2020, New York State enacted bail reform legislation that strictly curtailed the use of cash bail. Now, typically, bail can only be set on " Qualifying Offense s." Most Qualifying Offenses are violent felonies, such as robbery, assault, certain criminal contempt charges, misdemeanor and felony sex offenses, and homicide. Not all Qualifying Offenses will result in bail, however. Judges may still choose ROR, Supervised Release, or other non-monetary conditions. Depending on the Qualifying Offense, the judge may also remand the individual instead of setting bail. Remand is typically used in the most serious of offenses, such as murder.
Because of the recent amendments, cash bail is typically no longer permitted for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Individuals charged with these crimes are instead released on their own recognizance or released with non-monetary conditions designed to ensure their return to court. In rare instances, however, such as the individual being charged repeatedly and willfully failing to appear in court, a judge may set bail on an offense that does not constitute a "qualifying offense." Additionally, bail may be set if a person commits a crime that harmed another person or their property, while they were released on an earlier crime that harmed another person or their property.
If bail is set and the charged individual cannot post the bail amount, the New York City Department of Correction detains them in jail until the next court date.
Cases are transferred to another court part if they are not disposed of at arraignment. Misdemeanor and violation cases are transferred ("adjourned") from the Arraignment Part into an All Purpose Part ("AP Part") in Criminal Court. Felony cases are adjourned to Part F while awaiting Grand Jury action. The case will remain in Part F for all proceedings until the case is indicted or resolved with a misdemeanor, violation or ACD disposition.
Under New York State law, almost all felony cases must be presented to the Grand Jury, which is empowered to hear evidence presented by Assistant D.A.s and vote to file charges against an individual. The Grand Jury can vote an indictment (a written statement charging an individual with a felony offense), direct the filing of a Prosecutor's Information (a document charging non-felony offenses with a request to transfer the case back to Criminal Court), direct the removal of a case to Family Court, or issue a Presentment or Report (a formal report to the Court concerning neglect or nonfeasance by a public servant, or about a condition or incident with a recommendation for change). In some instances, the case may proceed with a Superior Court Information ("SCI"). An SCI is a written instrument accusing an individual of a crime that has the same force as an indictment. SCIs are used when an individual charged with a felony agrees to waive indictment by a Grand Jury.
For the first three actions, the Grand Jury must determine that the evidence is legally sufficient and that it provides reasonable cause to believe that the individual in question has committed the crime. Otherwise, the Grand Jury does not vote the indictment, or it dismisses the matter. If the Grand Jury votes an indictment the case is adjourned to a Supreme Court Part for arraignment on the indictment.
Each Grand Jury is comprised of 23 citizens who sit for a term of approximately one month. A quorum is required for the Grand Jury to hear evidence and file charges on the case. Grand Jury proceedings are not open to the public.
Once an individual has been indicted on a felony, the case is transferred to and arraigned in Supreme Court. Criminal Court no longer has jurisdiction over a case once an indictment has been filed.
At Supreme Court arraignment, the prosecutor gives the charged individual a copy of the indictment and the Automatic Discovery Form, which includes information about the case, such as the date, time, and place of the crime and arrest, the police and other witnesses involved, and the property recovered, among other things. The charged individual then enters a plea of guilty or not guilty to the indictment. Bail may be reviewed and different conditions may be set.
Numerous legal motions and court hearings can occur during the pendency of a case, some of which are described below.
Discovery: Discovery refers to evidence and materials relating to the case. Discovery may include grand jury testimony transcripts, witness names and contact information, photographs, drawings, scientific reports, and evidence seized during an arrest or from a crime scene. Charged individuals have a right to review, inspect, photograph, and copy all materials relating to the charges against them. The court may issue a protective order that restricts or denies access to discovery if there is risk of danger to the integrity of the physical evidence or the safety of a witness, among other select reasons.
Recent discovery reform legislation, which went into effect in 2020, requires prosecutors to produce all discoverable materials in their possession and in the possession of the police within 20 days of arraignment if the charged individual is incarcerated and within 35 days if the individual is not incarcerated. This timeframe may be extended by 30 days if the materials are "exceptionally voluminous" or despite diligent, good faith efforts, are otherwise not in the actual possession of the Assistant D.A. The discovery law also requires prosecutors to disclose before trial other discoverable items that were not initially in their possession, such as hospital records, bank records, and cellular data records.
Motions to Dismiss: The charged individual can move to dismiss the complaint or indictment because it is technically defective and not supported by sufficient evidence, because they were denied a speedy trial, or in the interest of justice.
Motions to Suppress Evidence: Before trial, the charged individual can move to prohibit the introduction of evidence at trial on the grounds that it was unlawfully or improperly obtained. Suppression motions most commonly seek to prohibit the introduction of identifications, evidence seized from the charged individual, and the charged individual's statements.
Admissibility of Identification Evidence: Identification evidence, like the results of a line-up, is examined during a Wade hearing. At issue is whether the police conduct during the identification procedure was proper. If the judge finds that the police acted improperly, the judge may still decide that the witness's "independent basis" for the identification is strong enough to withstand the pressures of police impropriety. If the independent basis for the identification is weak or non-existent, the witness cannot identify the charged individual at trial.
Admissibility of Statements Made by the Charged Individual: The admissibility of a charged individual's statement is litigated in a Huntley hearing. Issues include whether the charged individual was given their Miranda warnings, whether those warnings were complete, and whether the individual's decision to speak to the police was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.
Admissibility of Physical Evidence Seized from the Charged Individual: The admissibility of physical evidence seized from the charged individual is litigated in a Mapp hearing. Issues include an officer's probable cause to arrest the charged individual, the propriety of their stop or frisk, the time of the seizure, and the pertinent details surrounding the seizure of the evidence.
Molineux: A Molineux motion is made just before the trial begins. In such a motion, the parties litigate whether and to what extent the prosecutor may introduce evidence in their case-in-chief regarding the charged individual's prior crimes and bad acts. Molineux evidence can help establish, among other things, motive, identity, and unique methods for committing crimes, but may not be used to establish propensity.
Sandoval: A Sandoval motion is made just before the trial begins. In such a motion, the parties litigate whether and to what extent the prosecutor may cross-examine the charged individual about prior convictions or bad acts, if the charged individual chooses to testify at trial.
When appropriate, an individual's case may be transferred to a problem-solving court. Problem-solving courts provide targeted interventions and alternatives to incarceration for individuals whose outstanding needs may have led to their criminal justice involvement. Problem-solving courts are staffed by specially trained judges, court staff, and Assistant D.A.s. Problem-solving courts in Manhattan include, but are not limited to:
Manhattan Mental Health Court ("MMHC"): MMHC provides comprehensive oversight and mental health treatment to eligible individuals charged with felony offenses;
Manhattan Drug Court ("MDC"): MDC handles felony cases where an individual's criminal activity is motivated by a substance use disorder;
The Human Trafficking Intervention Court ("HTIC"): HTIC works with individuals who are charged with prostitution-related misdemeanors and violations;
Veterans' Treatment Court: Veteran's Court offers customized services to address legal and mental health needs of veterans whose criminal behavior may be linked to their military service; and
The Alternative to Incarceration Court ("ATI Court"): The ATI Court centralizes felony cases that receive a program-based disposition and creates infrastructure to supervise and support individuals as they complete programming. The ATI Court serves those who are not eligible for other problem-solving courts. All mandates within the ATI Court are individualized and designed to meet the needs of each justice-involved individual.
The Youth Part: The Youth Part in Supreme Court handles all felony cases involving adolescent offenders (those who are 16 and 17-years old), juvenile offenders (those who are 13, 14 or 15-years old and charged with serious felonies), and youthful offenders (those who are under 19 years-old). The Youth Part focuses on rehabilitation for these young people, similar to Family Court.
Problem-solving courts help reduce recidivism by creating more effective interactions with the justice system. Individuals in problem-solving courts complete programming before sentencing, often as part of a negotiated plea. Individuals who successfully complete programming may receive a reduced charge, avoid an incarceratory sentence, or, when appropriate, have their case dismissed.
Programs are also available to individuals charged with a misdemeanor or violation/infraction who are not in a problem-solving court, and are typically offered after a case is disposed. Program-based sentence options are described below.
A criminal trial is a formal examination of evidence in a court of law before a judge or a jury to determine whether the charged individual is guilty of the charges brought against them beyond a reasonable doubt. Cases that do not result in a plea or dismissal proceed to trial. There are two types of trials: A jury trial and a bench trial. In a bench trial, the judge hears all evidence and serves as the sole decision-maker. A jury trial relies on the jury to hear evidence and determine guilt by unanimous vote of the jurors. In Criminal Court, six individuals serve as jurors; in Supreme Court, twelve individuals serve as jurors. The process for selecting the jury is referred to as Voir Dire. A person charged with a crime that is entitled to a jury trial has the right to waive a trial by jury and elect for a bench trial.
Trials may be conducted for felonies, misdemeanors, or violations. However, very few misdemeanor or violation/infraction cases proceed to trial. Trials may end in a conviction on some or all charges, an acquittal (when the jury determines the charged individual is not guilty), or a mistrial. A mistrial can occur for multiple reasons, including if the jury is "hung" and cannot come to consensus, or if there is misconduct on the part of an attorney or juror.
Cases are disposed of when an individual:
Pleads guilty (to the top charge or a reduced charge);
Consents to an ACD;
Is convicted or acquitted at trial;
Has their case dismissed (e.g., for lack of evidence).
In 2019, 24,769 cases were disposed by guilty plea or trial conviction, with 3,189 pleas or convictions to a felony top charge, 10,794 to a misdemeanor top charge, and 10,786 to a violation/ infraction top charge.
A sentence refers to the consequences or punishment ordered as a result of a conviction at trial or guilty plea. A case is sentenced when these consequences are formally imposed by a judge. There are a wide range of sentences for criminal convictions, which may involve monetary payment, probation, programming to address outstanding needs (such as addiction disorders, unstable housing, mental health needs, etc.), or a term of imprisonment. Some individuals may receive a sentence of "time served," which means that the amount of time an individual spent incarcerated prior to being sentenced satisfies the incarceratory portion of the sentence the judge is issuing.
Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor under New York State law are eligible to be sentenced to up to 364 days of incarceration. Individuals convicted of a felony who receive an incarceratory sentence face anywhere from one year to life in prison, depending on the severity of the crime and the individual's previous convictions, among other factors. Incarceratory sentences may be determinate (i.e. consisting of an exact length of confinement) or indeterminate (i.e. consisting of a range of time with a minimum and maximum length of confinement). For example, an individual may have a determinant sentence of 2 years or an indeterminate sentences of 3-5 years. While judges have latitude in sentencing decisions, mandatory sentencing provisions in New York State law limit judges' discretion over the type or length of the sentence associated with a conviction of a specific charge or type of offense. For example, Criminal Procedural Law 70.02 establishes sentencing guidelines and requirements for individuals convicted of a violent felony offense.
Monetary sentences refer to judge-imposed punishments following a conviction at trial or guilty plea where the convicted individual is required to make payment in the form of a fine, restitution, or asset forfeiture. This does not refer to mandatory, court-imposed surcharges and fees that are assessed following a conviction.
Fines consist of the payment of money to the state. Article 80 of New York's Penal Law determines the amount an individual or corporation can be fined.
Restitution consists of the payment of money to a specified individual or organization, typically the victim. Restitution is case-specific; examples include the cost of a victim's medical bills, or payment of funds that were stolen from an organization.
Asset forfeiture consists of the confiscation of assets or property by the state. Asset forfeiture sentences are relatively rare.
In 2019, 76.9% of felony cases sentenced received a term of imprisonment, compared to 12.4% of non-felony cases.
Acquittal: A disposition of a case in which the charged individual is found not guilty at trial.
Adjourn: To suspend a proceeding to a later time and perhaps a different Court Part.
Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal ("ACD"): A disposition of a case in which the charges against a charged individual are dismissed following a period (typically six months) of being arrest-free or complying with other conditions. Individuals that consent to an ACD may or may not be mandated to programming or other conditions. A case disposed by ACD may be restored to the court's calendar if the individual commits any new crimes or fails to abide by other court imposed conditions.
Administration Code ("Admin. Code"): The Administrative Code of the City of New York contains the codified local laws of New York City.
Affidavit: A sworn written statement of facts submitted in the course of a legal proceeding. See also corroborating affidavit.
Alleged Offense: The crime the charged individual is accused of committing.
Alternative to Incarceration ("ATI"): Programming offered in lieu of incarceration. Felony ATIs are typically housed in a problem-solving court with specially trained judges and court staff.
Arraignment: An early stage in the criminal justice process, occurring after an arrest. The arrested individual is brought before a judge and informed of the charges pending against them. If applicable, bail is set.
Arraignment Court Part: The location in which arrested individuals are arraigned. In Manhattan, the majority of charged individuals are arraigned within 24 hours of their arrest. There is a separate Arraignment Part for individuals who come to court with a Desk Appearance Ticket ("DAT"). Charged individuals who are later indicted by a Grand Jury will be arraigned again in Supreme Court.
Arrest: In most cases, an arrest is the first stage in the criminal justice process. In some cases, an investigation precedes the arrest.
Assault: A major group category that includes all PL 120 offenses.
Assistant District Attorney ("Assistant D.A." or "ADA"): A lawyer hired by the District Attorney to prosecute cases as representatives of the People of the State of New York.
Arson: A major group category that includes all PL 150 offenses.
Bail: Collateral, often in the form of cash, bond, or money paid with a credit card, which must be posted to ensure their return to court on a future date. New York State enacted comprehensive bail reform starting January 2020 that limits the use of cash bail to the most serious offenses or instances of extenuating circumstance.
Bail Request: Bail is requested by an Assistant D.A.
Bail Set: Bail is set by a judge.
Bench Warrant: An order issued by a judge authorizing the arrest of an individual who has failed to appear in court on a specified date.
Bribery: A major group category that includes all PL 200 offenses.
Burglary: A major group category that includes all PL 140 offenses, excluding trespassing offenses (PL 140.05, PL 140.10, PL 140.15, and PL 140.17).
Calendar Part: A Court Part to which a case is sent after arraignment, but before trial. Motions and pleas are heard in these Parts.
Category: A category refers to the three major classes of offenses for which a person may be prosecuted: violations/infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Charged Individual: The person alleged to have committed the crime.
Community Service: A sentence imposed by a judge requiring a convicted individual to perform services for a public or not-for-profit corporation, association, institution or agency. Criminal courts may also require community service as a condition of an ACD, or probation supervision.
Complaint: The legal instrument filed by the prosecutor which initiates a criminal action. The complaint states the alleged crime of the arrested individual in legal language. Complaints serve as preliminary accusatory instruments.
Complainant: A person who alleges that a crime was committed.
Conditional Discharge: A sentence imposed by a judge which does not include jail or probation. The court can require the convicted individual to lead a law-abiding life, participate in a specific program, or avoid contact with certain persons.
Conspiracy: A major group category that includes all PL 105 offenses.
Conviction: A disposition of a case in which the charged individual is found guilty by trial or plea.
Conviction Offense: The offense to which the convicted individual is found guilty, which may be the same as the alleged offense or a less severe offense.
Corroborating Affidavit: A sworn affidavit provided by a witness that confirms the witness's assertions as stated in the Criminal Court Complaint (the legal instrument which initiates a criminal action). A corroborating affidavit converts a complaint into an "information," which is then ready to proceed through the criminal justice process.
Court Clerk: The Court Clerk assists the judge in record-keeping and other clerical duties; generally in charge of the personnel assigned to the courtroom.
Court Officers: Court officers are distinguished by uniforms, badges, and shoulder patches, and are responsible for security in the courtroom. They are usually armed. They often assist the clerk of the court with clerical duties.
Court Part: A division of the Court designated to handle particular types of court proceedings or cases. See also Arraignment Court Part, Calendar Part, Criminal Court All Purpose Part, Jury Part, Part F, Supreme Court Part, and Trial Court Part.
Criminal Court: The court in which misdemeanor and violation cases are handled and felony cases can be initiated.
Criminal Court All Purpose Part ("AP Part"): Criminal Court parts in which various proceedings involving misdemeanors or violations occur between arraignment and trial. Motions and pleas are handled in these parts.
Cross-Examination: The questioning of a testifying witness by the opposing party at trial.
Decline to Prosecute ("DP"): In some instances, after evaluating the evidence, the D.A.'s Office may determine that there is insufficient reasonable cause to believe an individual committed a specific offense, and will decline to prosecute a case. In other instances, the D.A.'s Office may decline to prosecute a case while law enforcement continues to gather evidence or because the case lacks prosecutorial merit. The D.A.'s Office may likewise decline to prosecute a case if an individual successfully completes a pre-arraignment diversion program. In Manhattan, our Office makes pre-arraignment diversion programs available to most individuals who are: 1) charged with low-level offenses (Project Reset ); 2) charged with failing to answer a summons or pay a fine for having their driver's licenses suspended (Project Green Light) ; or 3) charged with misdemeanor drug possession (Manhattan Hope).
Defense Lawyer: The lawyer who represents the charged individual in a criminal case. The defense of those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer is provided by organizations such as the Legal Aid Society, or by private attorneys assigned by the court.
18(b) Lawyer: A private lawyer who is appointed to represent an indigent charged individual where there is no public defender, or where the public defender agencies are unable to provide representation because of a conflict of interest or other policy decisions. 18(b) refers to Article 18(b) of the County Law, which authorizes the appointment and payment of private attorneys with county monies in criminal cases.
Department of Correction: The New York City agency in charge of all persons in detention in the City jails. Department personnel can be identified by the badge that says "Dept. of Correction" and a pin in their collar saying "DC." This Department also transports incarcerated individuals to and from court.
Deponent: A person who testifies under oath, usually in writing.
Desk Appearance Ticket ("DAT"): A DAT is issued by an arresting officer for less serious crimes. It releases a charged individual from custody before arraignment and requires the arrested individual to appear in Criminal Court on a specified day for arraignment. If the individual fails to appear on a DAT return date, a bench warrant may be issued.
Dismissal: A disposition of a case in which the case against a charged individual is terminated and sealed.
Disorderly Conduct: A major group category that includes all PL 240.20 offenses.
Disposition: Once a case has concluded, it is said to be disposed. Possible dispositions include: conviction by trial or plea, dismissal, acquittal, or an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal.
District Attorney ("D.A."): The District Attorney is elected by the residents of a county to represent the People in the State of New York in criminal proceedings against those accused of crimes. The current Manhattan District Attorney is Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
Docket Number: Cases are numbered and tracked by the Court with a unique docket number.
Dollar Bail: If the charged individual has another case pending in which the individual is being held, a bail amount of $1 might be set by the judge on subsequent cases. This is referred to as "dollar bail." Dollar bail helps ensure that any time an individual spends in custody before the disposition of their case will count toward the individual satisfying an incarceratory sentence if convicted.
Drugs: A major group category that includes all PL 220 offenses.
Early Case Assessment Bureau ("ECAB"): The Office's complaint room, also known as ECAB, where cases are evaluated ("screened") following an arrest and complaints are drafted by Assistant D.A.s seven days a week.
Escape/Custody: A major group category that includes all PL 205 offenses, excluding resisting arrest (PL 205.30).
Felony: An offense that is the most serious crime category. Felonies are divided into the following classes: Class A-I, Class A-II, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E. A Class A-I felony is the most serious and a Class E felony is the least serious. Examples of felonies are robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and murder.
Forgery: A major group category that includes all PL 170 and PL 175 offenses.
Grand Jury: Under New York State law, Grand Juries are empowered to hear evidence presented by prosecutors and to file charges against individuals. The Grand Jury can also conduct independent investigations. Each Grand Jury is comprised of 23 people. A quorum is required for the Grand Jury to hear evidence and file charges on the case.
Gambling: A major group category that includes all PL 225 offenses.
Grand Larceny: A major group category that includes all PL 155 offenses, excluding Petit Larceny (PL 155.25).
Held on Bail: Cases where the charged individual's bail has not been posted, so they are detained until bail is posted or the case is disposed.
Homicide: A major group category that includes all PL 125 offenses.
Hung Jury: A jury that cannot reach a unanimous verdict is called a hung jury. When there is a hung jury, the case may be retried.
Indictment: A written statement charging a party with the commission of a crime or other offense, drawn up by a prosecuting attorney, and voted and filed by a Grand Jury.
Intensive Community Monitoring: A program designed to help young probation clients complete their mandate and avoid incarceration. Services include school and home visits, counseling, curfew monitoring, and referrals to address other needs.
Jail Sentence: A sentence of incarceration lasting 364 days or less, served in a city jail facility.
Judicial Offense A major group category that includes all PL 215 offenses.
Judge: Presides over trials and hearings, decides motions, and conducts arraignments.
Jurisdiction: A court has preliminary jurisdiction over an offense if it may hear preliminary proceedings on the case. A court has trial jurisdiction over a case if formal charging instruments may be filed in that court and the court may preside over proceedings such as pleas, hearings, and trials. Most commonly, a court has geographic jurisdiction over a case if conduct has occurred in the geographic area that is sufficient to establish an element of the crime. In New York State, each of the 62 counties has a District Attorney who is an official elected to prosecute the crimes in their county or geographic jurisdiction. New York City contains five counties, each with its own D.A.'s Office: New York County (Manhattan), Kings County (Brooklyn), Queens County (Queens), Bronx County (the Bronx), and Richmond County (Staten Island). New York City also has a Special Narcotics Prosecutor, which has jurisdiction across all five counties and handles the prosecution of certain felony-level narcotics cases.
Jury Part: A Court Part in which trials occur.
Kidnapping/Coercion: A major group category that includes all PL 135 offenses.
"Live" Arrest: Also referred to as an "online" arrest. When an arrested individual is not eligible for a Desk Appearance Ticket ("DAT") and is taken from the local police precinct to Central Booking at 100 Centre Street for further processing.
Major Group: A major group combines similar offenses into a singular category. Major groups include, but are not limited to: assault offenses, drug offenses, marijuana offenses, theft offenses, and weapons offenses. See below for the most common offenses and their corresponding major group.
Penal Law of New York State:
Marijuana A major group category that includes all PL 221 offenses.
Mischief: A major group category that includes all PL 145 offenses.
Misdemeanor: Misdemeanors are divided into three classes: Class A, Class B, and "Unclassified." The maximum term of imprisonment for a Class A misdemeanor is 364 days and the maximum term for a Class B misdemeanor is three months. An "Unclassified" misdemeanor is an offense not defined in the Penal Law - often a vehicular crime - subject to a term of imprisonment greater than 15 days but no more than one year. Examples of misdemeanors are shoplifting and assault in which the victim suffers non-serious physical injury.
Mistrial: A mistrial occurs if a trial does not end in a conviction or acquittal. A mistrial can occur for multiple reasons, including if the jury is "hung" and cannot come to consensus, or if there is misconduct on the part of an attorney or juror.
Monetary Sentence: A sentence of payment in the form of fines or restitution. This does not include mandatory, court-imposed surcharges or fees that are assessed upon conviction.
NYSID: A unique identifier assigned to an individual by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services ("DCJS").
Obscenity: A major group category that includes all PL 235 offenses.
Offense: In New York there are three major categories of offenses for which a person may be prosecuted: violations/infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Felonies are the most serious offenses. Misdemeanors are less serious and, violations/infractions are the least serious offenses. Most offenses are defined in the Penal Law of New York State, while others can be found in different statutes, such as the Vehicle and Traffic Law, or in local ordinances, such as the New York City Administrative Code.
Other Fraud: A major group category that includes all PL 190 offenses.
Part F: After arraignment in Criminal Court, felony cases in New York County are adjourned to a Criminal Court All Purpose Part called Part F while awaiting Grand Jury action. After a Grand Jury indictment has been voted, the case moves to a Supreme Court Arraignment Part.
Parole: A type of release status where the convicted individual is sentenced to parole and is released under parole supervision.
Petit Larceny: A major group category that includes all PL 155.25 offenses.
Plea: A disposition in which the charged individual agrees to plead guilty to the alleged offense. Often, pleas will have a sentencing recommendation agreed upon by the prosecutor and the defense attorney. A judge must approve the plea.
Post Bail: When the charged individual's bail amount has been posted to the court. Once bail is paid, the charged individual is released.
Pre-Arraignment Diversion: Programs which provide individuals charged with a low-level offense the opportunity to avoid prosecution. If an individual successfully completes a community-based, light-touch intervention, they have their case dismissed before ever entering a courtroom.
Precinct: New York City is divided into 77 precincts, or geographic districts, which are patrolled by units of the NYPD.
Prison Sentence: A sentence of incarceration lasting more than one year, served in a state prison facility.
Probation: The Department of Probation is responsible for the supervision of persons placed on probation in lieu of imprisonment. This department also conducts pre-sentence investigations used by judges when determining sentences.
Problem Solving Courts: Problem-solving courts are specialized courts within the criminal justice system that seek to address underlying problems contributing to criminal behavior. Generally, a problem-solving court involves a close collaboration between a judge(s) and a community service team to develop a case plan and closely monitor a charged individual's compliance.
Prostitution/Patronizing: A major group category that includes all PL 230 offenses.
Public Order: A major group category that includes all PL 240 offenses, excluding Disorderly Conduct (PL 240.20).
Qualifying Offenses: New York State's bail reform laws limited the use of cash bail. Now, typically, bail can only be set on cases with a "Qualifying Offense." Most Qualifying Offenses are violent felonies, such as robbery, assault, certain criminal contempt charges, misdemeanor and felony sex offenses, and homicide. Not all Qualifying Offenses will result in bail, however. Judges may still choose ROR or Supervised Release. Depending on the Qualifying Offense, the judge may also remand the individual instead of setting bail. On the other hand, cash bail is typically no longer permitted for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. In rare instances, however, such as the individual being charged repeatedly and willfully failing to appear in court, or if an individual causes harm to a person or property while being paroled on a case involving harm to a person or property, a judge may set bail on an offense that does not constitute a "qualifying offense."
Release on Own Recognizance ("ROR"): When the court determines that a charged individual is likely to appear in court, and the charged individual is released from court following arraignment with no bail or other non-monetary conditions.
Release Status: Indicates whether a charged individual is being held in pretrial detention ("Held on Bail," "Dollar Bail," or "Remanded") or is "at liberty," sometimes with conditions ("Release on own Recognizance," "Parole," "Supervised Release," "Posted Bail," "Intensive Community Monitoring").
Remand: In the most serious cases where the court determines that a charged individual is likely to not return to court or is likely to flee the jurisdiction, the court may determine that the individual must remain in custody until their case is disposed and/or sentenced. People charged with murder may be remanded.
Repleader: Case where a charged individual pled to a charge with the promise of a plea to a reduced charge, a reduced sentence, or dismissal, once certain conditions are met. Individuals who successfully complete programming may be offered a repleader.
Resisting Arrest: A major group category that includes all PL 205.30 offenses.
Robbery: A major group category that includes all PL 160 offenses.
Screen : When a case is first reviewed by an Assistant D.A., who evaluates the sufficiency of the evidence to support the charges originally brought by the police and determines the case's final charges. Screening typically occurs in the Office's Early Case Assessment Bureau ("ECAB").
Sentence: Punishment imposed by a judge on an individual who has been convicted of an offense. Sentences may include community-based programming, monetary payment, probation, or a term of imprisonment.
Sex Offense: A major group category that includes all PL 130 offenses.
Speedy Trial: The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a Speedy Trial. In New York, Criminal Procedure Law Section 30.20 guarantees the same right, and Criminal Procedure Law Section 30.30 regarding prosecutorial readiness helps ensure that individuals are afforded that right. As a general rule, prosecutors have six months to commence a trial for most felony cases, 90 days to commence a trial for Class A misdemeanor cases, 60 days for Class B misdemeanors, and 30 days for violations. The time it takes to conduct many legal proceedings, such as motions and competency screenings, often does not count against these timelines.
Stenographer or Court Reporter: Takes verbatim record of court proceedings using a stenotype machine that records stenographic symbols on paper.
Stolen Property: A major group category that includes all PL 165.4, PL 165.5, PL 165.6 offenses.
Summons: A police officer may issue an individual a summons, or a ticket, for violating certain low-level offenses. Most individuals who commit a violation or infraction are issued a summons and diverted to Summons Court, in lieu of traditional case processing at Manhattan Criminal Court.
Superior Court Information ("SCI"): A written instrument accusing an individual of a crime that has the same force as an indictment. SCIs are used when an individual charged with a felony agrees to waive indictment by a Grand Jury.
Supervised Release: Supervised Release permits a judge to release a charged individual to a supervisory program that allows them to remain at liberty while awaiting trial. Supervised Release expands judges' options beyond setting monetary bail or releasing individuals on their own recognizance with no system in place to ensure their return to court, and provides intensive monitoring, frequent face-to-face and telephone contact with program staff, and referrals to outside agencies for additional services.
Supreme Court: In New York State, the court in which felonies are tried. Though the name is misleading, the Supreme Court of New York is not the highest court in the state; the Court of Appeals is the highest court in New York State.
Supreme Court Calendar Part: The Supreme Court Calendar Part are the court parts in which various proceedings occur between Supreme Court arraignment and trial. Motions and pleas are handled in the parts.
Theft: A major group category that includes all PL 165 offenses.
Time Served: When a judge sentences an individual to "time served," it means that the amount of time the individual spent incarcerated prior to being sentenced satisfies the incarceratory portion of the sentence the judge is issuing.
Top Charge: The most serious offense an individual is charged with.
Trial: A criminal trial is a formal examination of evidence in a court of law before a judge or a jury to determine whether there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the charged individual committed the alleged crime.
Trial Court Part: The court part in which trials occur.
Trespass: A major group category that includes PL 140.05, PL 140.10, PL 140.15, and PL 140.17 offenses.
Unconditional Discharge: When an individual is released without imprisonment, fine, probation, or mandated services. A sentence of an unconditional discharge is imposed when the judge does not believe it is necessary to impose any conditions on the charged individual.
Underlying Charge: Offenses that are less serious than an individual's top charge.
Vehicle Traffic Law ("VTL"): VTL defines vehicle and traffic related offenses from New York State (also see Offense above).
Violation/infraction: An offense carrying the lowest sanctions. Violation/infractions are defined as noncrimes. A criminal record does not ensue when a person pleads guilty to a violation/infraction. The maximum term of imprisonment is fifteen days. Examples of violations/infractions are public urination, drinking alcohol in public, and disorderly conduct.
Voir Dire: Voir Dire is the name given to jury selection. In Criminal Court, 6 jurors and 1 or 2 alternates are chosen. In Supreme Court, 12 jurors and 2 to 4 alternates are chosen. When prospective jurors are brought to the courtroom, the judge will explain certain principles of the law and question the prospective jurors. Prosecutors and defense attorneys question the jurors, and either side may bring a limited number of challenges to the judge, arguing that a certain prospective juror should not sit on the case. The remaining jurors are sworn in. The process continues until the full number of jurors and alternates is chosen.
Warrant: A judicial writ authorizing an officer to execute a search, seizure, or arrest.
Weapons: A major group category that includes all PL 265 offenses.
Since the late 1970s, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office has collected and stored information about each case that comes through Manhattan's criminal courts. A court part specialist records data on the time and date of each event from arrest to sentencing, including the names of the presiding judge and the assigned Assistant D.A., the charged individual's custody status, and the court event's outcome. The Office also receives data relating to the arrested individual's demographics and the arrest incident from the New York City Police Department ("NYPD").
The Manhattan D.A.'s Office designates employees to record information at each court appearance and input this information into the Office's data collection applications. The data included on this website reflects court events and outcomes that occurred throughout the prior week. When an error is identified in the data, staff manually correct the error in the data collection application. Because the Office's data collection abilities, processes, and applications have changed over the years, there is variability in how information recorded at different points in time is stored.
The raw data collected is robust. Rather than present raw data, these dashboards utilize several intermediary tables that parse the raw data before feeding the cleaned data directly into the dashboards. This process allows the Office to provide more accurate case information at several key decision points, including arrest screening, criminal court arraignment, disposition, and sentencing.
Arrest locations are grouped by neighborhood rather than police precinct. Manhattan neighborhoods are associated with police precincts as follows:
Tribeca, Soho, and Financial District:
Lower East Side, Nolita, and Chinatown:
5th and 7th Precincts
West Village and Greenwich Village:
Midtown West and Chelsea:
Gramercy Park and Flatiron:
Midtown South (14th) Precinct
Midtown North (18th) Precinct
Upper East Side:
Central Park (22nd) Precinct
Upper West Side:
20th and 24th Precincts
23rd and 25th Precincts
Central and West Harlem:
26th, 28th, and 32nd Precincts
Sugar Hill, Washington Heights, and Inwood:
30th, 33rd, and 34th Precincts
A small number of arrests occur in other boroughs, or outside of New York City; these are identified as "Outside Manhattan." Arrests outside Manhattan generally occur when a suspect residing in another borough, city, or state is arrested in compliance with a warrant issued after an alleged offense. Another small subset of cases are missing arrest precinct information; these are identified as having an "Unknown/Unrecorded" location. This information may be missing due to data entry errors or the age of the case, among other reasons.
The dashboard data will be updated weekly.
Lack of self-identification:
All demographic data is reported to the Office by the NYPD. The NYPD records an individual's gender and race/ethnicity based on how they physically appear, not by self-identification. Therefore, it is very common to see an arrested individual's race and ethnicity recorded differently at each arrest.
Because of this lack of self-identification, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office does not have data on transgender individuals.
Evolving data collection methods:
The Office's data collection applications and methods have changed and will continue to change over time, which may result in inconsistencies and gaps in the data presented on this dashboard.
Dashboard data only goes back to 2013:
The Office migrated to the latest data collection methods in 2013. Because this data is the cleanest and most accurate, the dashboards will, for the time being, only include data from 2013 to present.
The Office can only share data on prior convictions in Manhattan due to New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) data-use restrictions. DCJS maintains criminal history records for individuals prosecuted in New York State.
The data on the website may change as it gets updated in our system. The data in our system is updated when a data entry error is corrected or a case detail is updated.
This website aims to provide the public with accessible and comprehensive data on the Manhattan D.A.'s prosecutorial activities, with the goal of increasing transparency about the Office's operations.
From the website homepage, you can access a series of data "dashboards". The dashboards are intended to help you easily access a broad spectrum of aggregated data in one place. Each dashboard highlights a major event in the prosecution of a case.
The dashboards include:
Each dashboard includes:
The Resource pages provide additional information on the prosecutorial process in Manhattan, and how the Manhattan D.A.'s Office collects, processes, and presents case-specific data.
If you have questions or feedback about the Manhattan D.A.'s Data Dashboard, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") pertains to the public's right to request government records. All requests made to the Manhattan D.A.'s Office pursuant to FOIL must be submitted in writing to the Records Access Officer via email (FOIL@dany.nyc.gov), fax (212-335-4390), or mail:
Special Litigation Bureau, New York County District Attorney's Office
One Hogan Place, New York, NY 10013
For more information about how to contact the Manhattan D.A.'s Office, please visit our website.