A Virginia Commonwealth Attorney is the prosecuting officer of a criminal case (i.e., the official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses). Other states call them district attorneys (or "D.A.s"), but they serve the same functions. The following information will get you up to speed on the work of prosecutors, with a directory of Virginia Commonwealth Attorneys by county.
What Does the Prosecutor Do?
It's the prosecutor's job to work closely with law enforcement in collecting evidence against a criminal defendant and getting it admitted at trial. After all, there are times when evidence is unlawfully collected (or improperly handled along the chain of custody) and, while it may be harmful to a defendant's case, it could ultimately be barred from trial. However, this is not an automatic process and will usually require the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.
If you're a criminal defendant, you should always remember that it's not the job of a prosecutor to protect your rights. In the adversarial system that exists in the American criminal justice system, it's up to you, and your defense attorney, to ensure that your rights are protected.
Virginia Attorney General
The Attorney General's office represents the state in litigation and also advocates on behalf of Virginia residents.
When It Makes Sense to Speak with the Prosecutor
Still, there may be times when you (or your attorney) will want to enter into discussions with the prosecution. After all, you may be able to resolve your case before trial by obtaining a plea bargain, typically resulting in reduced charges or penalties. However, they're tricky and you need to make sure that what you communicate won't come back to hurt you if you later need to go to trial. Because of that, it's always recommended that your communications to the prosecution go through an experienced defense attorney.
Virginia Commonwealth Attorneys by County
Below are links to Virginia's Commonwealth Attorneys, arranged by county, as well as city attorneys.
Note: Although we strive to provide the most current contact and website information available for the D.A. offices in this state, this information is subject to change. If you have found contact or website information that is not current, please contact us.
Get a Handle on Your Criminal Case: Contact a Lawyer
As you can see, it's critical to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side if you're ever facing criminal charges. Prosecutors sometimes may seem like they're approachable, but their job is not to protect you, it's to prosecute you. If you're facing criminal charges or may be facing them in the future, there are defense attorneys in your area who can help you understand the charges against you and craft a winning defense strategy.