Training for Attorneys & Judges

The Department of Forensic Science began offering training for Virginia criminal attorneys and judges in 2018. The courses are designed to help attorneys and judges who use and evaluate testing in their cases to have the background to understand the methods and practices of the discipline.  

Upcoming Training in 2024

Breath Alcohol & Toxicology – Applications Due February 29, 2024

This training will provide you with an interactive opportunity to learn about the Department of Forensic Science’s Breath Alcohol and Toxicology sections.  The four hours of training includes an overview and details of the breath alcohol calibration process and subject testing.  After the training, you will have an opportunity to see and interact in person with the Intox EC/IR II, the evidential breath test equipment.  The training will also include an in-depth look at the Forensic Toxicology laboratory processes and the application of the laboratory results to the courtroom.  Fundamentals of toxicology will be covered with a focus on the effects of certain drug classes in relation to drug-impaired driving, drug-facilitated crimes, and postmortem investigations.  There is no registration fee for the training, and DFS will not be seeking CLE credit on behalf of attorneys.

The training will be offered from 8:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. as follows:

  • Friday, May 17, 2024 – Eastern Laboratory (Norfolk)
  • Friday, May 31, 2024 – Central Laboratory (Richmond)
  • Friday, June 7, 2024 – Western Laboratory (Roanoke)
  • Friday, June 14, 2024 – Northern Laboratory (Manassas)

A limited number of applicants will be accepted to each training offered.  To ensure consideration, applications must be submitted by February 29, 2024.  You will receive a confirmation email within three working days after your application has been received.  Applicants will be notified by March 8, 2024, whether they have been accepted.  In completing this application, please do not include any information that you consider confidential personal identifying information. 

Prosecutors and private defense attorneys should apply for the training using this application.

Public Defenders must apply through the Indigent Defense Commission (please contact Alison Powers at for more information). 

Judges must apply through the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia (please contact Dr. Caroline Kirkpatrick at for more information).

If you have any questions about this application, please contact Kelly Shelton at 804-588-4033.