About the Office of Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney
The Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney is a Constitutional Officer responsible for the prosecution of criminal offenses in Albemarle County.
The office is comprised of the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney, a full time Deputy Attorney, four full-time and one part-time Assistant Attorneys, a paralegal and three office assistants.
In addition, the office is staffed by interns from the University of Virginia’s School of Law, who are responsible for tracking appeals, drafting briefs and providing research assistance to the attorneys. Third year law students may also assist with the prosecution of matters in Court under the supervision of an attorney.
The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is required by statute to prosecute all felony cases. Felony cases are ultimately resolved in Circuit Court and carry the potential of a fine and sentence of more than one year in jail. The office also prosecutes violations of probation in Circuit Court. The office may, at the discretion of the Attorney for the Commonwealth, prosecute misdemeanor cases, including offenses of the Albemarle County Code, which carry the possibility of jail time. Misdemeanor cases are resolved in General District Court but may be appealed to Circuit Court and carry a potential sentence of up to twelve months. Misdemeanor cases prosecuted by this office include such offenses as DUI, underage possession of alcohol, assault and bad checks. Additionally, our attorneys appear in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court concerning the adjudication and disposition of cases involving juvenile offenders as well as offenses involving domestic violence.
In addition to the resolution of criminal matters, the office provides advice and input to the Albemarle County Police Department, the University of Virginia Police, the Virginia State Police and other state and federal law enforcement agencies regarding offenses occurring in Albemarle County. The office works closely with law enforcement in matters ranging from determining which charges to bring to preparing cases for trial. The office maintains a cell phone so that law enforcement can reach an attorney at any time for advice or information. We provide yearly in-service training to Albemarle County Police as well as additional information and training when needed to keep officers abreast of changes in the law. Additionally, we work with law enforcement to coordinate the efficient and effective delivery of services in special situations, such as internet crimes against children, gang activity, drug trafficking, and large community events such as Foxfield. We are also pleased to work with the Sheriff's Department to provide legal education and information at their Gun Safety Courses.
Other responsibilities of the office include: determining extradition matters, coordinating Court schedules, conducting special grand juries, preparing indictments for and advising the regular grand jury, coordinating the Sexual Assault Response Team, reviewing individual cases for entry into Drug Court, providing conflict of interest notification and opinions to those in public service, and education and outreach to the community.