Joseph D. Platania

  • Lecturer

Joe Platania graduated from Washington and Lee School of Law in 1998 and started his legal career at the Virginia Resource Center where he represented Virginia inmates that had been sentenced to death. 

He came to Charlottesville in 1999 as one of the original attorneys at the then newly opened Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defenders Office. Platania joined the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in 2003 and was elected Commonwealth's Attorney in 2017. He was a cross-designated special assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia from 2008-17. In addition to his duties as Commonwealth’s Attorney, Platania currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar’s Criminal Law Section and is the Board President of the Charlottesville Albemarle Drug Treatment Court.

He is the vice-chair of the 7th District Disciplinary Committee of the Virginia State Bar and is the director of the Prosecution Clinic at the University of Virginia School of law. Platania is also a member of the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference which is an organization that seeks to improve criminal justice in Virginia by assembling selected legal professionals and stakeholders in the field of criminal law to study and discuss issues of interest, to gather information, and, when substantial consensus can be reached, to propose legislation or rule changes to effect reform of criminal law and criminal procedure.  



  • J.D.
    Washington & Lee University
  • B.A.

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