Law and Order

A.D.A. Dominick "Sonny" Carisi, Jr. is a former detective at the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. He is currently an assistant district attorney.

He is now in a relationship with Amanda Rollins.


He is an Italian-American Catholic, religion that Carisi shows to be devoted, not only in the series every time he sees a dead body but crossing himself (a Catholic practice) but whenever he goes to church.

He is named after his father who he describes as stickler for Christmas holidays. His mother is a devout catholic woman.

He has three sisters Bella, Teresa, and Gina. He mentioned his mother was forced to abort a child who would have been born with health problems. The child was a boy and he said his mother confided only in him. (SVU: "The Burden Of Our Choices") He is closest to his sister Bella, while the two criticize their other sisters for being engaged "ten times" or only being interested in men who make six-figure salaries.

He has two nieces, Mia Morino (SVU: "In Loco Parentis") and an unnamed niece who he says drools a lot. (SVU: "Patrimonial Burden")

Two of his cousins are priests and, when he was a child, he looked up to a priest who he stated saved him. Carisi wanted to join the priesthood as well. (SVU: "Patrimonial Burden")


Carisi transferred into the precinct after Sergeant Olivia Benson put in a request for an "experienced, empathetic Detective" following the temporary demotion of Nick Amaro to patrol officer. He also took Amaro's place as the lead male of the SVU after his departure at the end of Season 16. He was in Staten Island SVU for two months, Brooklyn for almost a month and Queens for a week (before that, he was a patrol officer on Staten Island). He also worked in the Homicide unit for a couple years. Though his brash and argumentative attitude has placed him at odds with Benson and the others, he's shown a knack for interrogations, by pretending to empathize with suspects and getting them to open up to him.

At one point, he lost his temper and nearly broke the hand of a pedophile that raped several girls and his own niece, as well as causing turmoil for his family.(SVU: Decaying Morality)

He attended night classes at Fordham Law, often attempting to offer up legal suggestions on the cases at hand. He assisted ADA Rafael Barba during the trial of Lewis Hodda. (SVU: Depravity Standard)

While on an undercover assignment, he mentioned to wanting to be a lawyer. Carisi also refused to believe that a former suspect had relapsed and his belief was confirmed when it turned out he was framed by his lawyer. (SVU: Sheltered Outcasts)

He passed his bar exam in 2016, but following the death of Sergeant Mike Dodds, he decided to stay with the Special Victims Unit. He later served as a pallbearer at the funeral of Dodds, who was shot to death by Gary Munson, a corrupt Rikers Island corrections officer who held his wife, Lisa, hostage. At the bar following the service, Sonny toasts Mike as "the bravest cop we ever worked with". (SVU: Heartfelt Passages)

In one episode, Carisi told a young boy that when he was a boy, he was pushed through a glass window by a bully and stayed silent, out of fear that the bully would come back and attack him again. Several years later, Carisi found out that his bully had murdered someone in a fight and was in Rikers for it. He then said that he regrets not speaking up about the assault. (SVU: Great Expectations)

In 2019, Carisi was promoted to Assistant District Attorney for the Special Victims Unit, replacing Peter Stone, who had quit his job. Benson and Rollins both attended his first arraignment against a serial rapist who had sexually assaulted several young, aspiring actresses. Carisi said that he practiced Barba's summations in front of his mirror. (SVU: "I'm Going To Make You a Star")

Carisi told a lawyer that his mother had once fallen pregnant but the unborn baby had a heart defect, which would have resulted in death once born. He then said only him and his mother knew and both had been extremely distraught over the whole deal. (SVU: The Burden Of Our Choices)

Sexual tension has been hinted between him and Amanda Rollins. Carisi is often seen with Rollins off-duty, such as helping her with Jesse Rollins and assisting Rollins with several parenthood-related duties. The two also almost shared a kiss when traveling to pick up a criminal, but didn't carry it out. Amongst that, Rollins and Carisi have also fought several times during certain cases, disagreeing about certain things such as domestic violence. The sexual tension seems to have grown since Carisi became an Assistant District Attorney, with Rollins claiming that she misses him. Rollins also visits him more than any of the other detectives from the precinct and also confides in him a lot more than she does with any of the other detectives. Eventually, Rollins asks Carisi to share his wedding officiating speech with her, as Finn and Phoebe had decided to no longer get married. Carisi shared his speech, speaking about "partnerships" at work are equivalent to marriages. Rollins is brought to tears, Carisi comforting her, ultimately leading to Rollins kissing Carisi. (SVU: "Wolves In Sheep's Clothing")

Tension is also shown between him and Katriona Tamin. Both of them have a rocky relationship, with Tamin fighting with Carisi often, particularly during a case in which a lawyer tried to stop a rape victim of her stepfather from having an abortion, with them both having a heated discussion about abortion rights and laws. Carisi later confronted Graham on speaking in favor of a pedophile, leading the latter to charge him for his crimes.(SVU: "The Burden Of Our Choices")

His rocky relationship with Tamin became more intense during a case involving a pornographer who had been raped by one of her viewers. Carisi's outlook on the case angered Tamin, who felt sorry for the victim. When Carisi informed Tamin and Benson that the rapist had been imprisoned for seven years, Tamin was furious that it was such a short sentence, which infuriated Carisi. (SVU: "Turn Me On Take Me Private")

In 2021, Carisi was dating an activist named Nicole Harper, whose sister Sara was kidnapped. Carisi implored the squad to save Sara Harper and they looked into the kidnapping. Carisi had trouble keeping the infuriated Nicole from going too far with trying to saving her sister who is ultimately found and Nicole apologizes for giving the squad trouble. (SVU: "Our Words Will Not Be Heard")

During a hearing, Carisi was assaulted by a psychopath named Henry Mesner, who angrily stabbed a pencil into his ear after flying into a rage. He quickly recovered from the assault and was discharged from the hospital that same day. (SVU: "Post-Graduate Psychopath")

Carisi was going to be the minster for Fin's wedding to Phoebe Baker. He practiced his speech for the wedding, but Carisi himself was having relationship trouble. He got into a fight with Nicole Harper, who opposed the institution of marriage. The fight is implied to be pretty serious and the end of their relationship. At the end, the wedding does not go on, though Fin and Phoebe remain a couple. He was approached by Rollins for a sample of what he had written but wasn't able to say for the wedding, and after a while, they shared a kiss.(SVU: "Wolves In Sheep's Clothing")

Both him and Rollins continue dating each other in secret for a little while. However, they both decide to make their relationship public with both of them having to tell their bosses. (SVU: "If I Knew Then What I Know Now")

Officer-Involved Shootings


  • He has an ex-girlfriend with the Los Angeles Police Department (SVU: "Producer's Backend").
  • The only other people from the original squad that he has met besides Benson are Cragen and Stabler. He was in an episode that had a John Munch appearance ("Fashionable Crimes"), but they did not share any scenes together. He has also met Alexandra Cabot, the squad's original ADA in the episode "Sunk Cost Fallacy".
  • In several episodes in which Carisi finds a body, he makes the Catholic sign of a cross with his hands in respect.
  • His badge number was #0188.
  • His blood type is O-. (SVU: "Heartfelt Passages")
  • He played little league and basketball in high school (SVU: "Man Up")
  • Carisi is the only main character in the Law & Order franchise to be promoted from detective to assistant district attorney on-screen (Ricardo Morales from Law & Order: LA was a detective and then became a prosecutor before the start of the show, and then became a detective again at the end of the episode "Zuma Canyon").
  • Carisi was initially only meant to appear in the first three episodes of Season 16 as a brash cop who would shake things up in the precinct.
  • Carisi has the most known family members out of any main characters in the franchise.
  • Carisi has the highest episode count for any Assistant District Attorney on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, surpassing Rafael Barba. However, most of his appearances were as a Detective.


Icon SVU.jpg Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Main Characters

Senior Detectives: Elliot StablerJohn MunchOdafin TutuolaOlivia BensonAmanda Rollins

Junior Detectives: Olivia BensonMonique JeffriesOdafin TutuolaChester LakeAmanda RollinsNick AmaroDominick Carisi, Jr.Katriona TaminJoe Velasco

Squad Supervisors: John MunchOlivia BensonOdafin Tutuola

Commanding Officers: Donald CragenOlivia BensonChristian Garland

Assistant District Attorneys: Alexandra CabotCasey NovakKim GreylekRafael BarbaPeter StoneDominick Carisi, Jr.

Others: Melinda WarnerGeorge Huang