Frequently Asked Questions

(540) 743-4517

Page County Commonwealth Attorney's Office

& Victim Witness Program

116 South Court Street, Suite D,  Luray, Virginia 22835

 

What is a Commonwealth’s Attorney?

The Commonwealth’s Attorney is similar to a District Attorney in other states.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office brings all criminal charges against individuals on behalf

of the Commonwealth of Virginia.   The Page County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is

responsible for prosecuting any crimes that occur in Page County.

 

Can I report a crime to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office?  The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s

Office does not investigate criminal charges.  All criminal charges should be reported to the local law

enforcement or by calling 911.

 

I have been subpoenaed, now what?

Can I just drop the charges? NO.  Once charges are placed, the case is in the hands of the

Commonwealth’s Attorney to decide on how to proceed.  Only the Commonwealth’s Attorney

can dismiss a warrant once it is placed against another individual.

 

Why was I subpoenaed to be a witness? Often someone may be subpoenaed because of what they saw or heard or other factual information.  If you are unsure, please contact our office and we would glad to review the subpoena with you.

 

I just got subpoenaed for Court, what happens if I don’t show up? A subpoena is a court document requiring your presence in court.  Should you fail to appear you can be held in contempt of court or arrested for a failure to appear.

 

I was just subpoenaed for a case, but have a conflict with that date.  What do I do? If you were subpoenaed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office you can call us and we can attempt to resolve the issue.  Cases can be continued due to an emergency only.

 

I’m the victim of a crime, how do I know if I need to be in Court? The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will issue a subpoena should you be needed in court.  If you have any questions about appearing, you should contact the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office

 

I was subpoenaed for Court, what do I do if my employer says I can’t take off work?  That is incorrect.  Legally, your employer cannot prevent you from responding to a valid court subpoena.

 

Can I just submit my testimony via a sworn statement? No, testimony must come from actual individuals and cannot be substituted with a written statement.

 

Do I have to testify in front of the Defendant?  Yes.  Under the law, the Defendant has a right to face all witnesses in court.  There are certain cases involving children where a closed-circuit television system may be used.

 

If I testify, the Defendant says he will hurt me.  What do I do? Notify this office or law enforcement immediately.  Witness intimidation is illegal.

I’m a witness and I live outside of the area, can I get my travel expenses reimbursed?  Yes, there are times when travel expenses of a witness may be reimbursed.

 

I am a victim, what’s happening with my case?

Why is the case taking so long to get resolved in Court? Court cases can take several months from beginning to end.  Please understand that law enforcement and our office are working together to finish your case as quickly as possible.

 

How long will Court take? Court cases last various times.  It is very hard to estimate the time the case will be concluded.  The attorney handling the case may be able to give you a rough estimate, but often that is subject to other cases on the Court’s docket.

 

Can I talk to the Commonwealth’s Attorney handling my case?  If you are a victim, witness, or concerned citizen please feel free to call our office.  However, if you have been charged with a crime and are represented by counsel, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is not allowed to talk to you about the case.

 

I’m a victim, how do I get my medical expenses reimbursed? Yes, medical expenses of a victim may be brought up in your case.  Keep all of you receipts and contact our office to discuss this further.

 

How can I find out information about my case? Information regarding general district court and circuit court can be found online at the links provided on our website under resources.  Information about cases in juvenile court is confidential and not available online.  Additionally, if you are a witness or victim of a crime, information about the status of the case is available from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Program.

 

Which Attorney is handling my case?  Cases are handled by various attorneys in the office.  Please contact our office to determine which attorney is handling the case.

 

Why has this case been continued? Sometimes court proceedings have to be continued. We make every effort to notify you to avoid any unnecessary court appearances

 

What does this word mean?

Circuit Court -  This is a court of record which hears all felony cases.   Misdemeanor appeals from General District and Juvenile Domestic Relations Court are also heard in this court.

 

General District Court -  All misdemeanor cases not involving juveniles or family members are tried in this cases.  This court will hold preliminary hearings for felony cases.

 

Juvenile Domestic Relations Court -  All cases involving juvenile and family members are tried in this court.  This court will hold preliminary hearings for felony hearings involving adults.  Due to the sensitive nature of the cases involved in this court, their proceedings are generally closed to the public.

 

Subpoena - You may receive a subpoena, this is a court document requiring you to appear in court at a specified date and time.

 

Misdemeanor - A crime punishable by a fine up to $2,500.00 and/or a jail term up to 12 months.

 

Felony - A crime punishable by a fine and/or a period of confinement in jail or a state correctional facility.

 

Arraignment - The first appearance a defendant makes in court.  At this point, the judge advises the defendant of the charge and if the defendant cannot afford an attorney the judge appoints one.

 

Preliminary Hearing - a proceeding, after a criminal complaint has been filed by the prosecutor, to determine whether there is enough evidence to require a trial.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2014 Page County Commonwealth Attorney's Office & Victim Witness Program.   All Rights Reserved.               Website Design:  Shannon Sankar

116 South Court Street, Suite D   |   Luray, Virginia 22835  |  (540) 743-4517