Initial Certification

OVERVIEW OF THE COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY CERTIFICATION PROCESS


Code of Virginia, §19.2-163.03, requires an attorney seeking to represent an indigent client accused in a criminal case, in addition to being a member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar, to meet specific criteria required for each type or level of case. 

The goal of certification is to provide the most vulnerable clients, who cannot afford to hire an attorney of their choosing, quality representation. Attorneys should take their time, learn as much as possible, and gain experience in representing clients in criminal defense matters prior to applying for certification.

MISDEMEANOR CERTIFICATION

To initially qualify to serve as counsel appointed for an indigent defendant charged with a misdemeanor, an attorney shall;

  • Be an active member of the Virginia State Bar
  • Complete the VIDC Initial Certification Training - Day 1 (6.0 hours) Misdemeanor/Felony

FELONY CERTIFICATION

To initially qualify to serve as counsel appointed for an indigent defendant charged with a felony, an attorney shall;

  • Be an active member of the Virginia State Bar
  • Complete the VIDC Initial Certification Training - Day 1 (6.0 hours) Misdemeanor/Felony
  • Demonstrate participation as either lead counsel or co-counsel in four (4) felony cases from their beginning through to their final resolution, including appeals if any

JUVENILE CERTIFICATION

To initially qualify to serve as counsel appointed in a juvenile and domestic relations district court, an attorney shall;

  • Be an active member of the Virginia State Bar
  • Complete the VIDC Initial Certification Training - Day 1 (6.0 hours) Misdemeanor/Felony AND Day 2 (4.0 hours) Juvenile
  • Be previously Felony Certified or simultaneously seeking Felony Certification
  • Demonstrate participation as either lead counsel or co-counsel in four (4) Juvenile cases in JDR from their beginning through to their final resolution, including appeals if any

Questions:

If you have questions about the Certification process, please contact the Certification Department.

Email: certification@adm.idc.virginia.gov

Phone: (804) 662-7249, ext. 1

 As of June 1, 2017,the Initial Certification Training will be live and ONLY attorneys who are initially certifying will be eligible to attend. The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission ( VIDC ) will NO LONGER offer monthly video.