Frequently Asked Questions

Civil Process (1)

Civil Process Information

Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office serves all civil papers. The fee for all in-state papers is $12.00 and all out-of-state papers is $75.00.

To determine if an address is located in Brunswick County or to check the status of any paper previously sent to our office contact (434) 848-3133 between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Computer & Economic Crimes (10)

I received a letter from a foreign country telling me I won millions of dollars in the lottery, how do I know if it’s real?

Remember, if it sounds too good, it probably is. This definitely applies to foreign lottery scams. Con artists make up reasons for why you need to wire them money, i.e., taxes, special courier, etc., or why you should give them your banking information. The criminal is certainly not planning on making a deposit, just a withdrawal of your savings. It is illegal to participate in a foreign lottery and if you did receive a letter, report this to the United States Postal Inspection Service Office

I received a solicitation (fax, letter, or email) offering to transfer millions of dollars into my bank account. Who should I report this to?

This is a scam and you should:

Contact the United States Postal Inspection Service Office If the letter arrived in the mail.

Otherwise, notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is an alliance between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). IC3 provides an analytical repository for Internet crime complaints. IC3 analyzes and refers all fraudulent activity identified on the Internet to appropriate local, state, and federal law enforcement authority. To file an internet crime complaint, visit the IC3 website

Are pyramid schemes Illegal?

Pyramid or Ponzi schemes require recruitment of members rather than the sale of goods and services. For a fee, the scheme requires you to recruit other members into the scheme while promising huge payoffs. They are illegal schemes designed to defraud.

I was the winning bid on an Internet auction site. I sent the seller a money order for the item, but never received it. Where can I go to file a complaint?

Internet auction fraud can be reported by filing a complaint on line with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is an alliance between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). IC3 provides an analytical repository for Internet Crime Complaints. IC3 analyzes and refers all fraudulent activity identified on the Internet to appropriate local, state, and federal law enforcement authority. To file an Internet crime complaint, visit the IC3 website.

I read an ad in the newspaper offering guaranteed loans if I paid $750 in loan fees in advance. Should I be concerned about this offer?

Yes, you have just encountered an advertisement for an advance fee loan scam and the party offering the loan is a criminal. You will be instructed to complete and return by fax, a loan application which requires you to divulge your personal identifying and financial information. It may also require you to send copies of your driver’s license and social security card. After the criminal has obtained all of your information, they will request that you wire the $750 to them. The criminal has just stolen $750 and your identity simultaneously. If you suffer a loss, the crime should be reported to your local law enforcement office.

How does an identity theft criminal get your information?

The methods a criminal may use to obtain your personal identification are as varied as the victims themselves and while there is never a guarantee of not becoming a victim, there are certain steps one can take to greatly reduce the danger. While identity theft criminals have developed many ways of gaining access to your personal information and are continuing to come up with new ideas all of the time, the most widely used methods are still the easiest ones to block which can make prevention easier. Below is a list of the most widely-used methods an identity theft criminal will use to gain access to your personal information.

  •  Dumpster Diving: A criminal digs through trash, hoping to find discarded items such as credit card bills, bank account statements, and other mail which may include sensitive personal information.
  • Skimming: The criminal sets up a special storage device that captures your credit card information when making a purchase.
  • Phishing: This is a newer technique that became available with the advent of the Internet and e-mail. A criminal pretends to be a representative of a financial institution and will send e-mails stating that your account appears to have been compromised and lead you to a website where you can straighten things out. This is a scam and you will be asked to verify certain personal information that the thief should not have.
  • Pretexting: Once a criminal already has some of your information, they will contact your bank or creditors and using a bogus excuse will persuade the institution to supply additional information to them.
  • Physical stealing: This is the oldest method around and is just as it sounds. A criminal will simply steal somebody’s wallet or purse to see if any sensitive information can be obtained.

I believe I may have been a victim of identity theft, who do I call?

– File a report with local law enforcement officials to help you with creditors who may want proof of a crime.

– Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Online:
  • By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338), or TTY 1-866-653-4261
  • By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse
    Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, DC 20580

Whom do I notify of spam and phishing e-mails?

Forward unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam), including phishing messages, directly to the FTC at . These messages will be stored in a database law enforcement agencies use in their investigations

How do I reduce the number of phone calls I receive from telemarketers?

Register with the National Do Not Call Registry by calling (888) 382-1222, or visit the website at

If you continue to receive calls after being registered, complaints can be filed at the Do Not Call web site or with the Federal Trade Commission. Visit the FTC website at or call (877) 382-4357.

How do I opt out of mailing lists?

Call 1-888-567-8688, or visit the Opt-Out web site at

Concealed Weapon Permits (1)

What do i need to do to get a concealed handgun permit?

An application for a concealed handgun permit must be completed and returned to The Brunswick Circuit Court accompanied by payment of applicable fees. A photo ID along with proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun will need to be presented when submitting application. Next, the applicant will be sent to be fingerprinted and background checks will be run. The Sheriff will sign off on the application and submit to the courts. Individuals shall be notified within 45 days as to the issuance of the concealed handgun permit.  Click on the link below for more information and to print out an application.

  1. Instructions for Concealed Weapon Permit Application
  2. Application for Concealed Handgun Permit

Contractor (1)

DUI (1)

Can I use 911 on my cell phone to report drunk drivers?

Yes. Calls to 911 on cellular phones are free. However, please do not try to pursue a drunk driver or place yourself in any danger. Keep a safe distance from the suspected drunk driver. When you call 9-1-1, you will be asked for a description of the car, its location and direction. The Sheriff’s Office will do the rest.

Missing Person (1)

Is there a waiting period before I can report someone missing?

This is a common misconception. The answer is no. The moment you are concerned about a person’s whereabouts is the time to call. You can make a missing person report any time you realize someone is missing.

Property Disputes (2)

What can I do if I and my landlord are involved in a dispute?

The Sheriff’s Office cannot intervene on either party’s behalf unless a threat of violence has occurred or a crime has been committed against the involved parties. Information is available below regarding the Landlord Tenant Law.

Seatbelt (1)

What are the seatbelt & childseat laws in Virginia?

Pursuant to Virginia State Code 46.2 – 1094, occupants of front seats who are 16 years or older are required to use safety lap belts and shoulder harnesses. Children under 16 years of age are required by the seat belt law to be secured with a seat belt or within a car seat no matter where in the vehicle they are sitting. Additionally, children must be secured in a car seat or booster seat based on the Virginia child seat guidelines outlined below.

Fines for not wearing a seat belt in Virginia

The penalty for violation of the Virginia seat belt law is $25, and for the car seat law it is $50. The adult driver is responsible for all children in the vehicle who are under 16 years old no matter where in the car they are sitting, so the adult driver must properly implement the use of safety restraints, seat belts, child safety belts and/or child seats; however, if a passenger is 16 or older, they are legally responsible for themselves. You cannot be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt in Virginia because violation of the seat belt law is not a primary offense. If you are pulled over for another violation and you are also violating the seat belt, child safety belt and/or car seat laws, you will be fined for the additional violation.

Who is required to wear a seat belt?

Passengers 16 years old and older are required to wear a seat belt when they are occupying the front seat of the vehicle. Passengers under 16 years old and sitting anywhere in the vehicle are required to wear a seat belt that fits snuggly across chest (or breastbone, for children) and hips, never under their arm or below the abdomen. Those passengers include children who meet the age, height, and weight requirements and who have graduated from car seats and/or a child safety belt as a primary safety restraint. If the age, height and weight requirements have not been met, these children are required to be secured in a car seat.

While pregnant women are required to wear a seat belt, they should never secure a lap belt or any other safety restrain across their abdomen.

Medical conditions can excuse you from the seat belt law, as long as a written statement is obtained from a physician and carried on you when driving.

Virginia car/child seat information

Virginia has adopted the following guidelines for age, height and weight requirements regarding the use of car seats:

  • Rear-facing seat – Birth to 1 year old and at least 20 pounds
  • Forward-facing seat – 1 to about 4 years old and at least 20 pounds.
  • Backless booster seat – about 4 to 8 years old and under 4ft, 9 in.
  • Rear facing car seats must be secured in the backseat of the vehicle.

 Children cannot ride unrestrained in the rear cargo area. High-back booster seats follow the same recommendations as backless booster seats and both serve to boost and better position the child in the vehicle safety restraints. These should be used until the child is of an age, weight and height that allows them to be properly restrained using a standard lap-belt and harness seat belt system.

All types of seats require a safety belt or LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) to hold it in place with no more than 1 inch side to side or forward movement allowed.

For rear-facing car seats, use the slots that put the belt at the shoulders and, for forward-facing car seats, the harness should rest at or slightly above shoulders.

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