About The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
The Commonwealth’s Attorney is responsible for coordinating the criminal prosecution in the County’s three courts, as well as appeals to the Court of Appeals. Commonwealth’s Attorney Travis D. Bird and his Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, two Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys and eight Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys prosecute certain misdemeanor and all felony cases in Spotsylvania County.
The office maintains a file system to track these cases and is responsible for investigating criminal histories, driving records, and general background information of persons being prosecuted. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office also prepares show cause proceedings against defendants who violate terms of their suspended sentences and is responsible for subpoenaing witnesses and for arranging payment/reimbursement for witness expenses.
In preparing for the prosecution of criminal cases and appeals, the office is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive law library with emphasis on criminal law procedure. The office receives a number of telephone inquiries for general information on criminal law. Additionally, the office attorneys routinely teach and lecture at the Rappahannock Criminal Justice Academy and several are members of faculty for various state training programs for prosecutors.
Spotsylvania County has grown to a population of over 135,000 residents and its annual criminal court docket has also grown to over 12,000 cases. However, with the help of the Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, other local law enforcement agencies, and the courts, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has managed to keep Spotsylvania County’s annual violent crime rate at the same low 4% or less, that it was in 1988. It has done so through a tough but fair approach to prosecution, balancing public safety with rehabilitation programs.
Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s Services Council & the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys
The Spotsylvania Commonwealth Attorney’s Office is also a member of the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s Services Council and the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys. Spotsylvania prosecutors participate in trainings sponsored by these agencies several times each year.
Victim/Witness Assistance Program
This office also administers Spotsylvania’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program, a four employee program headed by Director Kathy Settle, which is predominantly funded by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The program is designed to assist victims of crime and witnesses of crimes, navigate the criminal justice process. Spotsylvania Victim/Witness participates in statewide National Crime Victim’s Rights Week activities and community events, and provides various trainings to law enforcement officers and community organizations.
In addition to protecting the community, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, participates in numerous community events to include:
- Autism Awareness Day
- Braswell Run Against Teen Violence
- National Crime Victim’s Week
- National Day of Prayer
- National Night Out
- Operation Blue Christmas
- Relay for Life
- Shop with a Cop
- Stars and Stripes Spectacular
- Trunk N Treat
- Unity in the Community
- Various other community events sponsored by the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office
The Office also is a supporter of local victim assistance programs such as the Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center and Empowerhouse, a domestic violence victim assistance program. The Office also co-coordinated relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma victims in a joint effort with the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office called Operation Spotsy Cares and coordinated relief efforts for Hurricane Florence victims called Operation Spotsy Cares II.