Court-Appointed Counsel Re-Certification
Court-appointed counsel certification expires after two (2) years. Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (VIDC) approved MCLE courses completed within the past two (2) years shall be used towards Re-Certification. Attorneys may report their CLE hours to the commission by completing and submitting a Re-Certification Application.
Re-Certification Requirement Overview
Please see Code of Virginia § 19.2-163.03. Qualifications for court-appointed counsel for a full explanation of requirements.
Misdemeanor / Felony
Requires 8.0 hours of VIDC approved CLE credit completed within the past 2 years.
Two (2.0) of the hours shall cover the representation of individuals with behavioral or mental health disorders and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities as defined in § 37.2-100.
Juvenile & Domestic Relations
Requires the previously mentioned 8.0 hours + 4.0 hours of VIDC approved CLE on representing juveniles, (12.0 hours total) completed within the past 2 years.
VIDC Approved CLE CoursesPlease see the Approved Course List to check if you have already completed an eligible course in the past two (2) years. Compare these approved courses to your MCLE records available on from the Virginia State Bar.Below are some frequently used courses for court-appointed counsel re-certification.
Standards of Practice for Indigent Defense Counsel
The Standards of Practice for Indigent Defense Counsel are legislatively mandated under Code of Virginia § 19.2-163.01(A)(4).
These Standards should not serve as a benchmark for ineffective assistance of counsel claims or attorney discipline hearings. Rather, they should serve as standards of practice for court-appointed counsel and public defenders providing indigent defense in Virginia. Failure to comply with these Standards can result in the removal of the non-compliant attorney from the list of counsel certified for court-appointed representation.
Compensation of Court-Appointed Counsel
The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission does NOT manage private court-appointed counsel compensation. Per Code of Virginia § 19.2-163. Compensation of court-appointed counsel, counsel appointed to represent an indigent client accused in a criminal case shall be compensated for services on an hourly basis at a rate set by the Supreme Court of Virginia in a total amount not to exceed the amounts specified in the code.
NOTE: There was a change in statute effective July 1, 2023 requiring a written explanation for waiver denials.
See also, resources from the Supreme Court of Virginia for Court-Appointed Counsel:
CLE Reporting Note
The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (VIDC) is a separate entity from the Virginia State Bar and does NOT have access to attorney CLE records. Therefore, it is the responsibility of certified counsel to submit completed courses via a re-certification application.