Virginia Federal Court Overview
Working with a qualified attorney acquainted with the Virginia Federal Courts is critical to your case if you have been charged with a federal crime. Learn more here.
What Is the Virginia Federal Court?
There are two federal district courts in Virginia: the Western District and the Eastern District of Virginia. Both of these are under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals system, just like other general district courts. If an individual in Virginia is charged with a federal crime, the case will first be heard in the district court that has jurisdiction over the case.
The trial will, in most instances, take place in this district court. After the trial, if there is an appeal, it will be decided by the Court of Appeals from the Circuit that has jurisdiction over these districts, which is the Fourth Circuit. That means the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals handles appeals on decisions by both district courts, the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia.
Working with a qualified attorney to beat your case is critical if you have been charged in the general district courts, federal courts, federal courts, or any other state court. At Scrofano Law, a federal criminal lawyer has the resources to help you fight any charge you may be facing.
Federal District Court of Western Virginia
The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia is a federal court with jurisdiction over cases arising from west Virginia. Located in Charlottesville, VA, it has jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases and bankruptcy and habeas corpus matters.
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia represents the federal government in this district, including as a prosecutor in criminal cases. Like the Eastern District of Virginia, any appeals from the Western District are referred to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Contact the law office of Scrofano Law firm today if you need help with appeals in the West Virginia courts. Their attorneys have a good understanding of the law and have helped many clients with appeals from a civil protection order from the domestic relations district court and circuit courts, all the way up to the supreme court, and may be able to help on your case.
Eastern Virginia Federal District Court
The Eastern district is based in Richmond. It has sometimes been referred to as the Rocket Docket, given how fast you can expect your case to go to trial in court. For years it has beaten most circuit courts and district courts by having some of the fastest trial dockets in the United States.
The federal government is usually represented in the state or circuit court by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. The office is also in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods intended to reduce gun violence.
This initiative is critical for the commonwealth as it results in more prosecution of offenders who commit firearm offenses.
The Eastern District of Virginia has trial courts in:
- Alexandria County
- Newport News County
- Norfolk County
It is important to note that decisions by either the East or West Virginia trial courts may be appealed to the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeal. At this court, cases are usually heard by three senior judges determined by random selection.
The office of Scrofano Law has been working with the judges and prosecutors in the state court and fourth circuit courts for years. Hire a criminal defense attorney who understands the trial process to the appeals system to help with your case.
The Virginia State Federal Court
Established in 1802 when the District of Columbia and the territories were under the control of Congress, the Virginia State Federal Court is a federal court in Virginia with jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. The court was created by an Act of Congress on July 20, 1802, to serve as a federal trial court for the District of Columbia.
Throughout history, Virginia was divided into judicial districts. Today, it has two federal district courts: the Eastern District Court of Virginia and the Western District Court of Virginia.
The Virginia State Federal Courts hear both criminal and civil cases. However, there are certain conditions. VA Federal Courts hold jurisdiction over cases that are known as diversity jurisdiction as well as over federal question jurisdiction cases. For example, diversity jurisdiction cases involve civil cases when citizens are from different states and their claims exceed $75,000.
Federal jurisdiction can also arise if a crime breaks both state and federal laws as well as if the federal government is a party in the case. In addition, federal courts also have jurisdiction over cases controlled by federal law, such as copyrights, bankruptcy, and patents.
If you have a case at the Virginia State Federal court, the Scrofano Law firm has lawyers well versed in the law and an understanding of the legal system.
How to Look Up Virginia Court Records
To find out whether a person has been convicted of a crime in Virginia, you can use the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (D.C.J.S.) website. They maintain criminal records for all felony and misdemeanor convictions in the state.
You should note that the site is not designed for individuals to search their criminal records. Instead, it is designed to tell you if someone else has been convicted of a crime. You can use the site to find out if someone has committed any crimes in Virginia.
The D.C.J.S. website provides three methods for searching court records:
- by the last name
- by first name and last name
- date of birth
Information can be critical when going to trial or filing appeals. Still, you may not know how to go about the process.
If you need help with looking up court records, the Scrofano Law firm has the resources to help you. They have attorneys who have been getting such information for years and may help you with what you need.
How the VA Federal Court System Works
Federal district courts are trial courts with qualified judges who can hear cases that arise under federal law. The judges who serve in the courts have to get the nomination by the United States president and be confirmed by the United States Senate. While the Eastern District has eleven judges, the Western District has four. Judges on these courts serve lifetime terms.
The United States Constitution created the U.S. Supreme Court and gave it original jurisdiction over cases involving:
- ambassadors, ministers, and consuls
- cases affecting ambassadors
- cases in which the U.S. is a party
- between two or more states
- controversies between citizens of different states where the issue in controversy exceeds $100,000 (adjusted for inflation)
- other cases as Congress may provide by law
Congress has enacted laws giving lower federal courts original jurisdiction over some issues, such as bankruptcy proceedings and civil suits for damages arising from patent infringement or copyright infringement.
Scrofano Law has helped tens of clients navigate the VA Federal Court system. Once you establish an attorney-client relationship with them, they may be able to strategize how to go forward with your case.
Federal Court Case Information Virginia
The VA Federal Court handles various cases, including bankruptcy, immigration, and intellectual property. The court has jurisdiction over the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.
You may find the information by visiting the court websites for the different courts. Most will usually have links to all court records regarding their handled cases.
If you need to work with the trial courts or the appeals courts in Virginia, you should contact the Scrofano Law Firm. We have the necessary workforce and resources to assist you with legal representation or, if not, strategic advice on how to deal with your legal issues.
Reach out to us today for help with your case.
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