In many instances, a resident's first contact with Virginia’s Judicial System comes through the Office of the Magistrate.

The magistrate provides an independent, unbiased review of complaints of criminal conduct brought to the office by law enforcement or the general public.

Magistrate duties include:

  • Issuing arrest warrants, summonses, bonds, search warrants, subpoenas, and certain civil warrants.
  • Conducting bail hearings in instances in which an individual is arrested on a warrant charging him or her with a criminal offense.
  • Magistrates also assist the public by providing information on the judicial system process and procedures.



Magistrates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center and the Mount Vernon Governmental Center. Limited magistrate service is also available at the Mason Governmental Center:


Fairfax Virtual Assistant