The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, formerly the Public Defender Commission, is an independent agency. The Commission provides legal representation in Virginia courts for indigent people accused of crimes for which the possible punishment is incarceration or death. Code of Virginia Title 19.2, Chapter 10, Articles 3, 4, and 4.1; and Title 16, Chapter 11, Article 6.
The VIDC is a supervisory commission. It is responsible for and enabled to (i) publicize and enforce the qualification standards for attorneys seeking eligibility to serve as court appointed counsel under § 19.2-159, (ii) develop training courses for attorneys who wish to begin serving as court-appointed counsel, and review and certify legal education courses that satisfy the requirements to maintain eligibility, (iii) maintain a list of attorneys qualified as court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants, (iv) establish official standards of practice for court-appointed counsel and public defenders, and guidelines for removal from the official list, (v) report on the caseload handled by each public defender office, (vi) maintain public and capital defender offices, (vii) hire and remove an executive director, and authorize the executive director to appoint a public or capital defender, who shall not engage in the private practice of law, (viii) authorize the public or capital defender to employ assistants and staff, (ix) approve requests for appropriations and receive and expend moneys appropriated, (xi) report annually on the state of indigent criminal defense in the Commonwealth. Title 19.2, Chapter 10, Article 3.1.
The Commission, in conjunction with the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia State Bar, is required to adopt qualification standards for attorneys in Virginia to represent defendants charged with capital murder or sentenced to death, and to maintain a list of such attorneys. Code of Virginia, Title 19.2, Chapter 10, Article 4.1.
Information is available at the Commission's office at 1604 Santa Rosa Road, Ste. 200, Richmond, VA 23229. Internet address: http://www. www.vadefenders.org