Virginia county to stop prosecuting several crimes
A Virginia prosecutor says her office will stop being involved in the prosecution of some misdemeanor cases.
Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj wrote in a memo that her office is “overwhelmed” and needs to focus more on felonies and violent crimes, according to FOX 5.
In the letter sent by Biberaj to the judges on December 30, 2022, she says that hit and run (property damage), reckless driving (under 90 mph), trespassing, public drunkenness and fleeing are among the offenses that will not be prosecuted from her office.
The letter states that on these charges, her office may cooperate with law enforcement if they choose to prosecute the crimes.
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Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj at a press conference (FOX 5)
According to the letter, the changes will take place after January 16.
READ THE MEMO BELOW. APP USERS: CLICK HERE.
At a news conference Friday, Biberaj said the letter was issued prematurely and was intended to create a discussion within Loudoun County judges.
She said the letter does not necessarily mean that misdemeanor offenses will not be prosecuted and explained that the process for prosecuting charges is changing.
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A police officer in Loudoun County, Virginia, looks at her phone in Sterling, Virginia on November 22, 2020. (Andrew Caballero-Reynold/AFP via Getty Images)
“We’ve promised transparency, you want to see what we’re doing? Come see what we’re doing. You have questions about what we’re doing? Ask the questions. It’s unfortunate that this letter, dated December 30, was issued prematurely. This is why we have the shock factor why people say ‘oh my god I didn’t know’. You didn’t know because it wasn’t your time to know. We invited our general district court judges to talk. How can we do it this and serve you best and serve our community best,” said Biberaj.
Biberaj said her office will discuss the changes with law enforcement partners and defense counsel.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares. (Fox News)
Commonwealth Attorney General Jason Miyares pushed back, saying prosecutors can’t pick and choose which laws to prosecute.
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“Prosecutors cannot pick and choose laws to enforce and laws to ignore – that’s not how our government works and it sets a dangerous precedent. Far-left CAs who ignore crime create an environment that only encourages more of his. Virginians deserve better,” Miyares said.
In response, Biberaj said, “I am focused on ensuring a safe community and fighting for victims. My decision allows us to devote every available resource to protecting victims of crime such as murder, rape and domestic violence, not tickets speed.”
“Truth be told, @JasonMiyaresVA, you know from your short time as a prosecutor in Va Beach, that throughout our great commonwealth, officers are the primary presenters of evidence in traffic and low level misdemeanors. This is not a failure to prosecute, but a priority to prosecute. …If you want to protect people, stop playing the politics of division and disinformation. You know the commonwealth only gives prosecutors $$ to prosecute crimes. So if you really want to fight for the victims, fight for the prosecutors to get the $$$ to prosecute any wrongdoing.”
Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @asabes10.