Initial Certification Requirement Overview

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.

 


VIDC Initial Certification Training

Attorneys seeking Initial Certification for court-appointments must complete the VIDC Initial Certification Training.  Qualified and experienced attorneys may be considered for a waiver of the mandatory training component only if certain conditions are true.  Please review the Initial Certification Application for further waiver details. (*This training is NOT allowed for VIDC Re-certification purposes)

TRAINING REGISTRATION

 


Misdemeanor Requirements

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 - Part 1 (8.0 hours) Misdemeanor/Felony
Felony Requirements

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 - Part 1 (8.0 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 Requirements

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 - Part 1 (8.0 hours) Misdemeanor/Felony AND Part 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