Megan R. Frederick, Commonwealth's Attorney
My belief is that the primary responsibility of government at every level is public safety. Everything else that citizens can accomplish, achieve and enjoy depends upon it. Schools, businesses, recreational pursuits, faith and family life are enhanced and thrive when our citizens feel safe. All prosecutors must act with fairness and integrity. To the extent it is within our power, we must ensure that our citizens can have confidence in the awesome, powerful process that determines a person's guilt and punishment. No case should be brought against a defendant unless there is a substantial likelihood, based on the facts, evidence and applicable law, that the result will be, beyond a reasonable doubt, a verdict of guilty. Under Virginia law, the Commonwealth's Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer of their respective jurisdiction. 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 and other local officials. In 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. The office prepares the 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.
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.