Assistant Commonwealth Attorney I – Norfolk

  • Full Time
  • Norfolk

City of Norfolk

The Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of all felony charges and some misdemeanor charges resulting from violations of the Criminal Code of Virginia which occur in the City of Norfolk. The Office also handles certain civil matters which include forfeiture actions against property used in connection with crimes and violations of election laws.

The Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney is currently seeking Assistant Commonwealth Attorney I. The Assistant Commonwealth Attorney I renders legal services in criminal matters and prosecutes cases in court. Manages caseloads, prepares cases for trial and establishes rapport with victims. Maintains knowledge of current laws to make complex decisions, presents cases in court and negotiates plea agreements. Works with law enforcement, judges, court personnel and citizens.

Departmental Hiring Salary: $62,197
Essential functions include, but are not limited to:
  • Prepares cases for trial by reviewing case reports, identifying the relevant facts of the case, contacting necessary witnesses for interviews, reviewing relevant state law and anticipating possible defenses. Case preparation includes conferring with supervisor when necessary, and following office procedures including the “Plea Agreement Policy.”
  • Establishes rapport with victims and witnesses by explaining the process of testifying, reviewing possible questions, informing them about court procedures, and advising them about changes in the case prosecution and court dates. Coordinates with Victim- Witness Advocates when necessary for travel arrangements or matters regarding witness safety and confidentiality.
  • Responds to discovery requests by preparing written responses for defense attorneys which include defendant’s statements and a record of defendant’s prior convictions. Complies with the ongoing discovery obligations during a case in accordance with the Virginia Code and the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court, as well as compliance with state and federal constitutional requirements.
  • Evaluates whether a plea offer should be tendered. Negotiates plea agreements with opposing counsel, calculates sentencing guidelines, drafts plea agreements, make bond arrangements when necessary, and perform other tasks to resolve the case. Familiarity with “alternative” and/or “community courts” is required.
  • Conducts preliminary hearings in General District Courts and Juvenile Courts, and certain misdemeanor trials in both courts. In Juvenile Court conducts transfer and certification hearings. Complies with office policies regarding file documentation after District Court, preparation of documents for Grand Jury, and scheduling of cases for trial in Circuit Court.
  • Presents cases in Circuit Court by preparing opening and closing statements, performing direct and cross-examinations, making and responding to objections, explaining complex legal concepts and presenting evidence and arguments at trial and at sentencing. Coordinates with Victim-Witness advocates regarding victim testimony or impact statements at sentencing. Also handles pre-trial and post-trial motions.
  • Keeps supervisors and the office’s communications director apprised of “high profile” or difficult cases.
  • Manages caseloads by keeping files updated, documenting additional facts and evidence after hearings, ensuring all changes are made properly. Compliance with office policy regarding the conclusion of cases and closing files.
  • Maintains knowledge of current case law and rules of evidence by researching pertinent topics, reviewing other Attorney’s briefs, reading the Rules of Virginia Evidence book and attending training sessions. Must comply with Virginia State Bar’s CLE requirements.
  • Manages appeals from lower courts by filling out any necessary paperwork, scheduling court dates and completing all necessary steps in accordance with the law. Prepares Briefs in Opposition as required when cases are appealed to Court of Appeals and/or Supreme Court. Complies with all filing deadlines.
  • Conducts his or herself in a professional manner at all times. Complies with office confidentiality procedures.
  • Engages in community and/or civic events which support the mission of the office when able to do so.
Work requires specialized knowledge in a professional or technical field. Work requires professional level of knowledge of a discipline equivalent to that which is acquired in a Master’s degree-level of study.

Six months as an attorney or practicing student. Law degree graduating as a Juris Doctor from an accredited law school.

The incumbent must be licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and be in good standing with the Virginia States Bar. Must have valid Driver’s License.

The ideal candidate will be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, and a Case Management System (VCAIS, Karpel, etc.) used in previous practice.

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