A Message from Your Commonwealth's Attorney
"The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which mark a gentleman. And those who need to be told would not understand it anyway. A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility". - Justice R. H. Jackson
Though written many years ago, these words of Justice Jackson embody ideals which I believe should govern my service as your Commonwealth's Attorney. Historically, the concerns of the criminal justice system have focused on the accused, while the needs of crime victims and witnesses received only minimal attention. Justice, however, belongs to all citizens, and I believe we have made great strides in recent years to relieve the inequity of this situation.
The successful prosecution of crime in Alexandria is impossible without the support, assistance and cooperation of our citizens. In our mutual endeavor to make Alexandria a safer place in which to live and work, I ask for your cooperation and assistance, and promise to do all I can to ensure that the ends of justice are served. Thank you.
- Bryan L. Porter, Commonwealth's Attorney
- Modified Hours: Our new permanent office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Citizen’s Academy 2021:
Each year, our office hosts a Citizen’s Academy, typically in the Spring, to encourage communication between our office and the community which we serve. Our Spring Citizen’s Academy was held this past May for three consecutive weeks and was held virtually for the first time ever! We had many leaders speak and interact with our citizens to include our Victim Witness Assistance Director, Domestic Violence Advocate, multiple prosecutors and our elected Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bryan Porter. We also discussed important topics including many well-known criminal trials from Alexandria’s history and development in our Rehabilitative Programs. Overall, the Academy was a great success and we thank all our citizens for their enthusiastic participation. Stay tuned for more information on next year’s Citizen’s Academy 2022. For more information, please email Sarayu Kulumani at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-746-4100.
- Commonwealth's Attorney Community Advisory Board 2021 Update
Last summer, our office initiated its new Community Advisory Board (CAB) to reach out and foster ties with the citizens of Alexandria. We were impressed by the enthusiasm for the CAB; originally, we had planned for ten citizen members, but the almost-overwhelming number of applications from interested Alexandrians soon caused us to enlarge the membership to twenty. Our Community Advisory Board is a committed group of community members that provides feedback to our office on a host of important issues. Board members in effect act as the collective voice of the community, learning about the somewhat arcane world of criminal law while providing me with insight on the issued affecting the community. The current board members represent the diversity of the vibrant Alexandria community in age, background, expertise, race, and gender.
Over the past year, the CAB has discussed topics as varied as the legalization of marijuana, the City’s newly created Independent Community Policing Review Board, and proposed legislative changes to the traffic code designed to protect vulnerable road users. These conversations allowed me to hear a range of viewpoints and opinions and helped define what the local community really feels about certain proposed changes. CAB meetings have been filled with astute observations and thoughtful dialogue, and we have been pleased with the energy and honesty the board members have brought to the table. We will be continuing our Community Advisory Board for another term and expect to have our first meeting in September. For more information, please email Sarayu Kulumani at email@example.com or call 703-746-4100.
- Procedure for U-Visa and T-Visa Applications
- Rehabilitative Programs:
- The goals of the Mental Health Initiative (MHI) are two-fold: (1) to avoid incarceration and/or convictions in those cases where the interest in community safety can be served by pre-trial services, mental health treatment, and probation monitoring; and (2) where the defendant is in custody, to identify, expedite, and expertly manage cases in which forensic services, such as competency and insanity evaluations, are required.
The mission of the Alexandria Treatment Court (ATC) is to support individuals in achieving recovery and to thereby enhance public safety by reducing recidivism. ATC’s goals are achieved by providing treatment and ancillary services to offending citizens, utilizing a holistic and collaborative approach with the goal of participants becoming law-abiding, healthy, and productive members of the Alexandria community. ATC is a paradigm of City cooperation as a plethora of City agencies partner with OCA, to include, but not to be limited to: the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Pre-trial Services and Local Probation (ACJS), the Office of the Public Defender, the Circuit Court, the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), the Office of Probation & Parole (P&P), the Alexandria Police Department, and the City Manager’s Office.
About Our Office
The Commonwealth's Attorney serves as the chief prosecutor and also serves as legal advisor to the Sheriff and the Police Department with regard to criminal matters.
Bryan Porter presently serves as Commonwealth's Attorney in Alexandria. He has been a prosecutor since 2001 and began his first term as Commonwealth's Attorney in January 2014. The office is composed of fourteen attorneys and is located in the Courthouse at 520 King Street, suite 301. Other programs within the office include civic association liaisons, a multi-jurisdictional drug prosecution program, which assigns an experienced assistant to prosecute higher level drug cases in federal court, and the Victim-Witness Assistance Program, which provides information, referral, and support services to crime victims and witnesses throughout the criminal justice process. Attorneys in the office participate in the Youth Policy Commission, the Economic Opportunities Commission, the City Wide Code Compliance Task Force, and the Domestic Violence Intervention Project.
Lawyers in the office are assigned cases according to substantive areas. (See, Prosecutors and their Assignments). Each prosecutor is on call as needed to work closely with police officers in developing cases for prosecution. If you would like a prosecutor to address your civic group or school class on an issue related to law enforcement, please call or email the office.
If you are a witness in a case and want to confirm the need for your appearance, see Case Updates after 5:00 p.m. the day before the hearing.
Directions to the Alexandria Courthouse
From 495: Take Route 1 North (Exit 1) from the beltway (last exit before crossing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge or first exit coming from Maryland). Proceed north for seven blocks until making a right onto King Street. Follow King Street for five blocks to the Courthouse at 520 King Street. The Victim/Witness Program is located in the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney in Room 301.Underground parking is available under the courthouse at the rate of $10.00 per day. Metered parking is available around the Courthouse. There is also two hour residential parking one or more blocks from the Courthouse.
From 395: Take the King Street East (Exit 5). Continue on King Street into Old Town Alexandria. After crossing Patrick Street, proceed five blocks to the Courthouse at 520 King Street. See above for parking information.
Metro: The King Street Metro Station is located 1 mile west of the courthouse. For bus information, call Alexandria DASH 703-746-3274 or Metrobus at 202-637-2437.