Adult Criminal Cases
The judges of the Juvenile Court hear and decide
- Criminal misdemeanor cases where a family or household member is alleged to be the victim of a crime or cases where the reported victim of the alleged crime is under the age of 18 years
- Preliminary hearings of felonies where family or household members are the alleged victims or where the reported victim of the alleged crime is a child under the age of 18 years
- Criminal misdemeanor cases where a parent is alleged to have failed to have his/her child attend school
Misdemeanors are criminal offenses for which the maximum punishment is confinement in jail for up to a year and/or a fine of up to $2,500. There are classes of misdemeanors where, upon conviction, no confinement in jail is permitted and only fines can be imposed.
Felonies are criminal offenses for which punishment can be confinement in the state penitentiary and in some situations confinement in jail. There are classes of felonies that establish the range of possible punishment for violation of the law.
Most of the criminal cases heard in the Juvenile Court regarding adults are misdemeanors involving allegations of domestic violence upon family or household members. Family or Household members are defined by Virginia law as people who are married, have lived together in a personal relationship at some point within twelve months of the date of the alleged criminal act, or have a child in common. To help prevent future acts of domestic violence between household or family members, the Juvenile Court and the Court Service Unit have established a variety of programs and referrals to assist persons who become involved in these type cases.
A small but growing type of criminal case is the charge brought against parents who are alleged to have failed to have their elementary school child attend school on a regular basis. The Alexandria City Public School System brings these cases to court in cooperation with the Alexandria Police Department.