The Commonwealth Attorney's Office

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About Our Office

lawenforcementThe City of Virginia Beach is not the “Safest City of our size in America” by accident. This happens due to an excellent working partnership between the Citizens of Virginia Beach, Law Enforcement, and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Some of the most dedicated and highly trained professionals make up the Virginia Beach Police Department and the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. However, it makes no difference how many crimes they solve or criminals they catch if there is not a well-run and effective Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney to go to court and fight for victims.

The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is organized into ten (10) teams, each with their own unique responsibilities. The primary mission of the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is to review and prosecute all felony cases, domestic violence and certain other misdemeanor cases (where required by law) and to provide legal training and advice to police officers, magistrates, and other local officials.

badgeIn accomplishing this mission, the office reviews all felony, domestic violence and selected misdemeanor cases and prosecutes those cases where there is sufficient, legally admissible evidence. We provide legal training and advice to local officials, including law enforcement and public safety agencies such as the police department, Sheriff’s department, and fire department whenever requested. The office prepares the daily Circuit Court Criminal docket and handles all preliminary hearings on felony cases in General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. We prosecute juveniles in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and, where warranted, in the Circuit Court.

The office prepares all indictments to be presented to a Grand Jury twice a month. We prosecute all appeals of state and city code misdemeanor convictions from General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to the Circuit Court, and file “briefs in opposition” to appeals from convictions in Circuit Court to the Virginia Court of Appeals and Virginia Supreme Court. We institute civil proceedings to forfeit cash and personal property to the state for all crimes in which forfeitures are authorized by statute.

In addition to this primary mission, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney protects the rights of crime victims under the Constitution of Virginia through its Victim-Witness Program. A felony is any crime punishable by a sentence of more than one year. A misdemeanor is any crime punishable by a fine only or a jail sentence not exceeding 12 months.