Criminal Cases – General Information
The Criminal Division of the Circuit Court handles all felony cases, misdemeanor cases originating by Grand Jury action, as well as misdemeanor appeals from the General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. Traffic infractions are handled by the General District Court, which is a separate entity with its own Clerk’s Office. Only when traffic cases are appealed from the General District or Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court do they fall under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. Therefore, before contacting the Circuit Court to inquire about the status of a traffic infraction case or pre-payment of a traffic fine, it is important to ascertain beforehand which Court has jurisdiction. This will prevent any unnecessary delay in processing. Unlike the District Courts that have separate traffic dockets, the Circuit Court integrates traffic infraction appeals into its criminal docket.
Please be advised that the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office cannot provide information regarding criminal charges or case dispositions over the telephone or via e-mail.
Fines, Court Costs And Payment Information
When an individual is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the Circuit Court, court imposed fines and/or court costs will be assessed against the defendant. All court costs are assessed in accordance with the Code of Virginia. Fines and costs are due at the time of sentencing unless the defendant enters into a payment plan agreement approved by the Court. Payment can be made via a personal check with proper ID, Visa and MasterCard, money order, or cash. An individual who does not promptly pay fines and court costs will be subject to the following:
- A judgment will be entered against the defendant and interest will accrue on the balance due. A judgment is entered on all convictions that are not paid the same day. All judgments will be docketed against real estate, thereby creating a lien on the defendant’s real property in the land records.
- Unpaid balances are reported to the Department of Taxation for Set-off Debt Collection (after proper notice, any tax refund or lottery proceeds due the defendant will be sent to the Clerk’s Office to pay off the debt).
- Unpaid balances are also reported to the Department of Taxation for collection purposes.
- Notification is sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles of any unpaid fine and/or court costs for suspension of the defendant’s operator’s license.
Payments for fines and/or court costs are accepted Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Payments may be made in person in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office or via the mail. Please note credit card payments cannot be made by phone.
If payment is sent via the mail and a receipt is desired, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the payment.
When paying by personal check, checks should be made payable to Clerk, Henrico Circuit Court. Money orders, certified checks and cashier’s checks are also acceptable methods of payment.
Always indicate clearly to which account (case number and defendant name) payment is to be credited. This is very important if there are multiple accounts for the same defendant. In addition, please include the defendant’s name and case number on all checks or money orders for proper credit. Never send cash payments via mail.
Subpoenas And Subpoenas Duces Tecum
Subpoena requests in felony or misdemeanor appeal cases should be delivered to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. A letter specifying the request must be provided. In order to allow adequate time for the preparation of a subpoena, a lead-time of five days from the date of service is requested. There is no fee for issuance of a witness subpoenas. For a subpoena duces tecum, a $5.00 fee must be remitted along with the request. Court appointed counsel are not required to pay a fee. [Credit and debit cards are not accepted].
The following information must be included in a request for a subpoena:
- Defendant’s full name
- Circuit Court case number
- Certificate of service on opposing counsel
Any subpoenas that should be served by a Sheriff in another county will be forwarded to that Sheriff by the Clerk’s Office. For service fees in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, please send a separate check payable to the High Constable.
In addition to the above information, a request for a subpoena duces tecum must contain the following:
- Name and address of person/place with custody of the records
- Specific description of the records that are being subpoenaed
- Date the records must be produced in the Clerk’s Office
(NOTE: These records must be made returnable to the Clerk’s Office, not an attorney’s office.)
NOTE: If a witness subpoena or subpoena duces tecum needs to be served on a person or an entity
outside of Virginia, the requesting party should follow procedures for a
Foreign Witness, as provided in Code of Virginia § 19.2-272, et seq.
Criminal Records Check
Staff of the Henrico Circuit Court Clerk’s office does not perform criminal background checks.
The Virginia State Police is equipped to perform a comprehensive background
check encompassing the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. Additional information
regarding services provided by the State Police can be obtained from the
following web site: www.vsp.state.va.us.