Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Iii

Fairfax, Virginia
$84,842.99 - $141,404.64 Annually
Dec 31, 2022
Jan 28, 2023
Full Time
Job Announcement

The Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office seeks an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney III. Fairfax County is the largest jurisdiction in Virginia, and among the most diverse. The Commonwealth’s Attorney is the chief prosecutor for the County, as well as the leader of its criminal justice system.

This is an exciting time to join the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, as the office embarks on the ambitious criminal justice reform agenda amidst the ongoing national conversation on race and the legacy of racism in the criminal justice system. After taking office in January 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano’s initiatives have included restructuring the office to produce accountability around reforms, issuing a comprehensive policy to address mass incarceration, and the formulation of a Justice Advisory Council, among others. His passion for reform and creating an atmosphere of diversity and fairness within the office has prompted the offices to seek team members with a passion for criminal justice reform and working to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in the local justice system. The Office seeks to foster a culture of inclusion and diversity, with team members who are eager to take meaningful action to spearhead and institutionalize equity initiatives.

The Assistant Commonwealth Attorney III (ACA III) will be assigned a combination of cases, including misdemeanor offense at the General District Court level and more serious felony cases at the Circuit Court level. Depending on the level of experience, assignments generally include the prosecution of misdemeanor cases in General District Court (DUI, traffic offenses, and simple drug possession), and the prosecution of felony cases to include violent crimes (murder, rape, abduction, robbery, etc.).

The ACA III will prepare and prosecute misdemeanor cases and felony cases, conduct legal research and argument for hearings, compose appellate briefs, advise local law enforcement agencies, and work closely with victim/witness advocates.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested applicants should submit a resume by e-mail directly to by the advertised closing date.

Illustrative Duties

  • Represents the Commonwealth of Virginia in prosecutions of violations of criminal law;
  • Appears in General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to prosecute criminal misdemeanors and traffic offenses;
  • Appears in Circuit Court to prosecute the appeal of misdemeanor offenses in jury and bench trials;
  • Appears in Circuit Court to prosecute felony offenses in jury and bench trials;
  • Conducts legal research and composes briefs in opposition to constitutional motions and petitions for appeal;
  • Drafts correspondence on legal matters;
  • Advises County and State law enforcement officials concerning the investigation of criminal violations and trial preparation;
  • Reviews search warrants, affidavits and court orders submitted by law enforcement for the obtaining of evidence related to criminal cases;
  • Advises citizens of Fairfax County on issues relating to criminal law violations in the community and court procedure.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the principles of law and their application;
  • Knowledge of trial procedure and the rules of evidence;
  • Knowledge of criminal law; including trial practice, motion practice, and appellate practice;
  • Knowledge of the criminal laws under the Code of Virginia and Fairfax County Code and the court decisions affecting the prosecution of those laws;
  • Knowledge of legal research methods;
  • Ability to effectively and efficiently prosecute felony cases;
  • Ability to present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically;
  • Ability to interview victims, witnesses and law enforcement to obtain the necessary information to prosecute criminal cases;
  • Ability to maintain an effective working relations hip with associates, law enforcement officials, the judiciary and the general public.

Employment Standards

Must be an active member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar.
Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following: (Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for “Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to”)
Graduation from an accredited law school; plus two years of experience as a practicing attorney.

License to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs may be subject to a weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.
  • The appointee to the position will be required to complete a criminal background check to the satisfaction of the employer.
  • Employment to this position is at-will, serving at the pleasure of the Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney.

The ability to communicate effectively and professionally with law enforcement personnel, expert and lay witness; effectively address, with sensitivity, the needs of victims of crime; work proficiently in a collaborative, team environment, engage people of various social, economic, cultural, ideological, racial and ethnic backgrounds; maintain a fast-paced workload/docket while keeping case files and workplace organized; prepare and present cases before trial court in a short period; and establish and maintain constructive, effective and professional relationships with fellow attorneys, public officials, judicial officers, and the public.


Duties are generally sedentary, performed in a normal office environment. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

May include a panel interview and practical exercise.

The population of Fairfax County is very diverse where 39.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home (Spanish, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indo-European, and others) and we encourage candidates bilingual in English and a foreign language to apply to this opportunity.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.

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