The Magistrate for York County and Poquoson can be reached by calling (757) 820-3951. A magistrate provides an independent, unbiased view of complaints brought against suspects by officers, deputies, troopers, and citizens. In Virginia, magistrates are trained and have the responsibility to perform several duties within the jurisdiction they serve. This includes the power to issue or conduct the following:
- arrest warrants
- search warrants
- bond/bail hearings
- civil warrants
- emergency (temporary) protective orders
- emergency custody orders
- temporary mental detention orders
- medical emergency temporary detention orders
- Magistrates also provide information about the judicial process and procedures to the public. However, they are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.
Most often, the magistrate is the beginning step of the criminal justice process. It is the magistrate who issues an arrest warrant based on someone's sworn statement concerning the commission of a crime. Once a suspect has been arrested, magistrates will then conduct a bond hearing to set bail. The magistrate may grant bail, or decide to hold the suspect without bail until the matter can be reviewed more fully by a judge in court hearing. If the magistrate permits bail, he or she will set certain conditions that the defendant is required to follow to remain out on bail. This could include paying a certain amount of money as a surety that the defendant will be of good behavior and appear for court. It could also include pre-trial probation or a prohibition from contacting the victim of the crime. In Virginia, if the crime is domestic violence or stalking, the magistrate has the ability to issue an emergency protective order.