About the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
Historical & Political Information
- The office of Commonwealth’s Attorney is a Constitutional office established under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution of Virginia.
- The Commonwealth’s Attorney is elected every four years at a regular November election of the voters of their jurisdiction (county or city) for a four-year term which commences the first day of January following the election, unless otherwise provided by law.
- Localities may, by special provision of the constitution, share constitutional officers. However, the Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Fredericksburg serves only the jurisdiction of the City of Fredericksburg.
- Duties and compensation for these officers are prescribed by general law or special act.
- The Commonwealth’s Attorney must be a member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar which is responsible for licensing and regulating all attorneys who practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecutes all criminal and serious traffic offenses which occur within the City of Fredericksburg, including those on the University of Mary Washington campus.
- Advises and assists law-enforcement agencies, including the Grand Jury
- Serves as liaison between courts and various agencies or departments
- Provides instruction and counsels police officers
- Advises City code compliance officials and prosecutes City building code and safety violations
- Interacts with victims and witnesses of crimes
- Provides information to members of City agencies and boards regarding filing of financial disclosure and real estate disclosure forms
- Renders conflict-of-interest opinions and seeks official advisory opinions from the Attorney General
- Handles appeals of civil commitments.
Former Commonwealth's Attorneys
The history of the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office of the City of Fredericksburg can be traced back to the 1800s as follows:
- John G. Mason: 1880 - 1888
- John T. Goolrick: 1888 - 1892
- William A. Little, Jr: 1892 - 1896
- Alvin T. Embrey: 1896 - 1904
- John T. Goolrick: 1904 - 1906
- Granville R. Swift: 1906 - 1909
- William W. Butzner: 1910 - 1921
- Frank M. Chichester: 1922 - 1925
- W. B. F. Cole: 1926 - 1963
- J. M. H. Willis, Jr: 1963 - 1973
- H. Harrison Braxton, Jr: 1973 - 1981
- Ann (Palamar) Jarrell: 1982 - 1990
- Charles S. Sharp: 1990 - 2008
- LaBravia J. Jenkins: 2008 - 2021
- Elizabeth K. Humphries: 2021 - present
It does not appear that there was a separate Attorney for the Commonwealth in the City of Fredericksburg before 1880.
Elizabeth K. Humphries
PO Box 886
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday
After Hours Circuit Court Informational Line
Ph: 540-310-0675 after 5 p.m.
Victim Witness Assistance Program
Police Department (non-emergency)