Virginia Seashore Public Defender: attorneys want increased pay

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (AP) – The Virginia Beach public defender’s office is asking the city to contribute money to raise the salaries of its attorneys.

Virginia Beach defense attorney Cal Bain told The Virginian Pilot that low wages lead to high turnover rates and inexperienced lawyers representing poor criminal defendants.

The pilot reported Sunday that Bain decided to ask the city council to consider putting up to $ 850,000 in its next budget.

Defense attorneys earn a starting salary of $ 53,000. Bain said that’s about $ 20,000 less than the lowest-paid attorney in the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office.

The state funds both offices, providing nearly $ 2.9 million to the Commonwealth Prosecutor and $ 2.1 million to the Virginia Beach District Attorney.

The city also provides additional financial assistance to the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office. Spokeswoman Macie Allen said the prosecution has other duties that the prosecution does not. This work includes public relations, providing legal training, and handling deletions and asset loss.

Still, Commonwealth attorney Colin Stolle last month urged the city council to approve the public defender’s motion to ensure the city has well trained and experienced public defenders.

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