Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Protecting children, families and communities

Under state law and the Washington State Constitution, the Attorney General’s Office has little original criminal authority, meaning the office generally cannot investigate or prosecute crimes without a request from a county prosecutor or the Governor.

Working within those limitations, the Attorney General's Office is quite active in supporting law enforcement and prosecutors to help make communities safer.

  • Our  Sexually Violent Predator Unit  tries civil commitment cases that keep the most violent sexual predators away from future victims until it is proven their mental state makes them no longer a risk.
  • The  Homicide Investigation Tracking System (HITS)  unit assists local law enforcement agencies by providing an information sharing database to track, link and solve violent crimes. To give you an idea of the program’s reach, in recent years HITS assisted law enforcement agencies in the Washington, D.C. sniper case, the Robert Yates serial murders in Spokane, and the Vancouver, B.C. serial killer case.
  • Our  Medicaid Fraud Control Division investigates and prosecutes false billings in the Medicaid program and cases of resident abuse.
  • Our  Financial Crimes Unit  works with multiple state agencies to investigate and prosecute cases involving financial fraud.
  • The Attorney General’s Office also is charged with the prosecution of  death penalty cases  in Washington.
  • A county prosecuting attorney can seek our assistance in criminal cases if they have a conflict of interest, lack expertise and/or resources, or have cases that are too complex or too sensitive to be handled at the local level.
  •  Each year our office helps organize the  Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony .
  • The Attorney General's Office has a deep respect for the law enforcement and prosecutors in our state and stands ready to assist where needed.