Joan Ziglar, Commonwealth's Attorney
Donald P. Goodman III, Deputy Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney
Paula A. Bowen, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney
Alberto Herrero, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney
The Commonwealth's Attorney and staff prosecute crimes and traffic cases, whether felonies or misdemeanors, for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Martinsville.
Although Commonwealth's Attorneys are commonly referred to as prosecutors, their job responsibilities include assisting victims of any crimes that occur in the City. The staff keeps victims informed, bringing dignity throughout the process of the trial and sentencing of defendants.
Beyond prosecuting, the Commonwealth's Attorney represents the city's interest in forfeiture proceedings to confiscate assets in drug-related crimes. Forfeiture proceedings are designed to take the profit out of dealing drugs, deter drug dealers from selling drugs within the city, and to generate revenue for the city.
The Commonwealth's Attorney works closely with the Martinsville Police Department, the Virginia State Police and magistrates to provide 24-hour-a-day legal advice. In addition to providing legal advice to law enforcement officials on an as-needed basis, members of the legal staff teach at the Police Academy to provide training for new officers and in-service training for experienced officers.
Outside of the office, Joan Ziglar has lectured at seminars for Commonwealth's Attorneys and numerous citizen groups. She and her staff regularly accept speaking engagements in Martinsville and surrounding areas. They also dedicated numerous hours to educating students of all age and academic levels on the criminal justice systems. Most of the appearances have been after work hours, on weekends and holidays.
The overall goal of the Commonwealth's Attorney is to diligently prosecute criminals, to protect society from crime whenever possible, to serve victims of crime and to educate the public about the criminal justice system. The support of the community is key to reaching those goals.