In Virginia, the Commonwealth’s Attorney (C.A.) is the chief law enforcement official in the jurisdiction in which he or she is elected to serve. The Constitution of Virginia along with statutory law provides that the C.A. has the responsibility to charge, indict and prosecute felony cases arising in the jurisdiction and investigated by either the C.A.’s office directly, a grand jury or the various policing agencies in the locality such as the state police, municipal or county police or the local sheriff. The C.A. also has the responsibility to protect the rights of the citizens, the accused and the innocent from injustice. In short, in all criminal matters on the state level, “the buck stops” with the local C.A. who is not only the top legal official in the jurisdiction, but also a conservator of the peace with arrest powers and concealed carry privileges throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The General Assembly has vested hundreds of additional specific prosecutorial powers in the local C.A. in matters ranging from public corruption cases, FOIA prosecutions, civil asset forfeiture proceedings, OSHA criminal violations and many, many more legal areas where he or she is mandated to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia in the geographic confines of the county or city in which he or she serves. The C.A. is NOT the county or city attorney who represents the locality. Rather, he or she is akin to the District Attorney or States Attorney in other states and does not represent the local county or city in their civil (or other local government legal) matters.
This site is intended to provide information and communication to the public from our office in connection with the work we do to serve criminal justice in the county of Fauquier with regard to the above stated authorities.