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Attorney Logo Criminal Division

Rick Dusterhoft, Director
Kim Bingham, Assistant Director
Jill Gerber, Assistant Director

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division has several important public safety functions.  It's main responsibility is to prosecute all adult felonies in Ramsey County.

Prosecutors screen cases presented by police investigators and determine whether criminal charges are warranted. The attorneys also represent the State at defendants’ initial court appearances, go to trial in cases ranging from thefts to homicide and handle all appeals and post conviction hearings.

The Division includes community prosecutors who work with neighborhoods and law enforcement agencies to address public safety issues.  Special units within the Division include the Community Prosecution & Policing, Appeals, Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution and Elder Abuse.  Additionally, the Division also participates in problem-solving courts such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Courts. 

Community Prosecution & Policing

The Office of the Ramsey County Attorney is currently working with the Saint Paul Police Department in three Saint Paul districts to build this type of unit.  Community Prosecution is based on a closer working relationship between prosecutors, law enforcement, local neighborhoods and communities where crime is occurring. Prosecutors are assigned to work with police, local residents, businesses and others in a specific geographic area to develop strategies for preventing and prosecuting crime, as well as to identify appropriate consequences for those who break the law. As part of this Unit, we offer court information by community.


Give feedback on a recent crime or your thoughts on crime in your community.

Appeals Unit


After defendants are found guilty, they often appeal their convictions.  The attorneys in the Appeals Unit handle all appeals and post-conviction hearings in juvenile and criminal cases.  This involves reviewing transcripts, researching the law, filing briefs and orally arguing cases before the appellate court judges. The attorneys appear in the Minnesota District Court, Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court and in United States District Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.


Grand Jury

The Grand Jury is an independent body of the District Court made up of citizens selected at random in the county.  Its primary purpose is to hear evidence and determine whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.  Usually only the most serious crimes, such as homicides, are presented to the Grand Jury.  The County Attorney is the legal advisor to the Grand Jury.  The duties include deciding which cases should be presented, drafting indictments or charges and answering any questions members

of the Grand Jury might have.


Domestic Abuse Unit


The Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution Unit, a groundbreaking partnership with the Saint Paul City Attorney’s Office, focuses on domestic assaults where children are present.  The goal is to break the cycle of violence that often grips families from one generation to the next.


Elder Abuse Unit


 The Elder Abuse Unit prosecutes crimes against older persons who are victimized because of their age, vulnerabilities or family relationships.  The Unit focuses on such crimes as physical and sexual abuse, financial exploitation and scams aimed at the elderly.


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