Rebecca “Ria” Farley has settled into her new post as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Patrick County.
“I’m excited to be back where it all started and do what I enjoy,” Farley said and explained that she became interested in being an attorney in 2016, after being accepted for an internship at the Patrick County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office through the New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville.
“About three weeks in, I just kind of realized ‘alright, this is what I want to do,’ Farley said. “I always enjoyed the law and liked it, but there was nothing that stuck out like ‘oh, this is why I want to be a lawyer.’”
Farley also grew up around the law in Henry County. Her father, Marshall Farley, served as a Martinsville City police officer for about 20 years, she said.
Farley attended the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. She attended the Appalachian School of Law.
While in law school, Farley knew she wanted to work in criminal law and be a prosecutor.
“I took a lot of classes that were geared towards prosecution and Virginia criminal law,” she said, adding that she began her current position in April, but was unable to go to court until she passed the Virginia Bar Exam on Oct. 14.
Now at 27, Farley said she currently has the singular career goal of serving as a prosecutor in Patrick County. In her role, Farley is responsible for all juvenile and domestic relations cases.
“I handle child abuse, whether it is physical or sexual, I handle domestic violence cases, anything that involves a juvenile defendant, and all sexual assault” cases, she said.
“I want kids to know that it’s okay to go and talk to the police and that we are safe people,” Farley said. She also wants youngsters to understand “that just because they are seeing us does not mean their lives are awful.”
Farley interned at the Patrick County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Office during the summers of 2016-2018 and interned with the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office during the 2016-2018 school years. She also interned for the Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office during the summer of 2019-Oct. 2021.
The variety of internships will help in her current position, Farley said, because they allowed her “to work with numerous prosecutors and kind of pick up things from everybody that I’ve worked with.”
Her experiences will help her overall, she said.
“It helped with people skills, and knowing how to handle these cases, and coming up with creative outcomes, because jail isn’t always the best thing,” she said.
Additionally, her experiences in various localities “gave me a lot of people to have a connection with,” she said.
Whenever she has questions, Farley said she thinks back to a similar case, either in Patrick or another locality, and may call that office and ask how they handled the situation to obtain the best outcome.
To Farley, that is what it’s all about: Working to protect the children and residents of the county to the best of her ability.
Farley is currently engaged to Matthew Wiggington, who works for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. They live in Patrick Springs and plan to get married this fall.
In her spare time, Farley enjoys playing golf, riding with her fiancée on his motorcycle, and playing with her dog.
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