The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Individuals and businesses facing government investigation or criminal prosecution in the Eastern District of Virginia should hire experienced counsel to protect their interests. HHM has experience in a wide variety of federal criminal areas and a strong presence in the Eastern District of Virginia.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the District of Virginia with one judge.
The Eastern District of Virginia currently consists of Chief Judge Mark Steven Davis (Norfolk)
Eight District Judges:
- Rebecca Beach Smith (Norfolk)
- Leonie Brinkema (Alexandria)
- Raymond Alvin Jackson (Norfolk)
- Liam O’Grady (Alexandria)
- Anthony John Trenga (Alexandria)
- John A. Gibney, Jr. (Richmond)
- Arenda L. Wright Allen (Norfolk)
- M. Hannah Lauck (Richmond)
Six Senior Judges:
- Robert G. Doumar (Norfolk)
- Claude M. Hilton (Alexandria)
- T.S. Ellis III (Alexandria)
- Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. (Norfolk)
- Robert E. Payne (Richmond)
- Henry E. Hudson (Richmond)
The acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia is G. Zachary Terwilliger, who is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases brought by the Federal government, as well as representing the United States in civil cases. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also oversees the Project Safe Neighborhoods program within the district to reduce gun violence and is involved with federal initiatives related to preventing drug trafficking, terrorism, cybercrime, and elder care abuse.
The Eastern District of Virginia is currently divided into four divisions, covering approximately six million people (85% of Virginia’s population):
- The Alexandria Division sits at the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, and covers the counties of suburban Washington, D.C., including: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford; as well as the independent cities of Fairfax City, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Falls Church.
- The Richmond Division sits at the Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr. Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia and is comprised of the following counties: Amelia, Brunswick, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Essex, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Surry, Sussex and Westmoreland; as well as the independent city of Colonial Heights.
- The Norfolk Division sits at the Walter E. Hoffman Courthouse, in Norfolk, Virginia, and includes the counties of Accomack, Northampton, Southampton; as well as the independent cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.
- The Newport News Division also sits at the Walter E. Hoffman Courthouse, in Norfolk, Virginia, and includes the counties of Gloucester, Mathews, York; as well as the independent cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg.
Appeals from the Eastern District of Virginia go to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is based in Richmond, Virginia.
Federal Criminal Prosecution in the Eastern District of Virginia
In the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia is primarily responsible for prosecuting cases on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes a wide variety of alleged criminal offenses, which can include:
- White Collar Offenses
Amidst the fallout from the mid-2000’s economic crisis, the Eastern District of Virginia created the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force in order to detect, disrupt, and deter fraudulent activity and instances of public corruption. This initiative resulted in an unprecedented collaboration between criminal investigative staff and civil regulatory members with the requisite resources to advance complex fraud cases with victims on a national scale. This aggressive pursuit of fraud and corruption has led to a series of successful high-profile charges, including recently a Dulles Metrorail Project subcontractor and company president settling a civil fraud lawsuit for over $1 million.
Prosecutors with the Eastern District of Virginia United States Attorney’s Office place a high priority on strictly enforcing current firearm regulations. This effort is a major component of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative that links various levels of law enforcement and surrounding community leaders to reduce the occurrence of violent crime by developing effective, locally-sourced approaches to fight violent crime.
- Drug Crimes
The Narcotics Unit of the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office prioritizes the prosecution of high-level drug-trafficking schemes on both an international and domestic scale. The Unit is especially focused on reducing the dispersion of opioids throughout the EDVA by strategically prosecuting each step of the narcotics supply chain, from local and wholesale dealers of heroin and fentanyl, to international opioid importers, to physicians and other medical practitioners who illegally dose opioids and related prescription medications. The Narcotics Unit collaborates with several federal law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
- Federal Sex Crimes
In today’s technologically-driven society, the majority of federal sex crimes take place on the internet. Accordingly, the Cybercrime Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia specializes in combatting sexual abuse and pornographic crimes occurring online. As part of this effort, the Cybercrime Unit has implemented the Project Safe Childhood program, which works in close conjunction with the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section to fight the production, distribution, and receipt of images and videos of the sexual abuse of children; and online enticement of minors by predators to engage in sexual activity. In recent years, Cybercrime Unit staff have been involved in several joint operations with the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section as well.
HHM and the EDVA
The knowledgeable and competent federal defense team at HHM is prepared to assist you with your FBI, OIG, IRS, or other federal government legal matters. If your personal reputation or corporate entity are under attack we can utilize our invaluable insight of the federal litigation process to develop a personalized and effective strategy to safeguard your interests and ensure your rights are protected at all stages of your case. Partner John Thomas was one of four individuals interviewed in 2017 by Senators Kaine and Warner to serve as the U.S. Attorney and is available for consultation.