Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Virginia Research Guide

Court Structure

There are four levels of courts in Virginia:

  • Supreme Court - reviews the decisions of the lower court.
  • Court of Appeals - provides appellate review of final decisions of circuit courts and administrative agencies, with the exception of death penalty sentences.
  • Circuit Courts - trial court with the widest powers. Handles all civil cases and can hear felony cases.
  • General District Courts - handle traffic violations, misdemeanors and conducts hearings for felony cases

There are thirty-one judicial circuits as well as 32 judicial districts.

Magistrates are often the first contact citizens have with the judicial system. Their main function is to provide independent and unbiased review of complaints. This map provides more details on Virginia's Magisterial Regions.