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What Will Happen in Court After a Prince William County DUI Charge?

Being charged with a DUI in Manassas, Virginia is a scary experience, but one of the best things you can do to alleviate your fears after a DUI charge is to know what to expect when you go to court. Below we’ll detail you on how court proceedings at the Prince William County Courthouse typically work, and let you know how the Prince William DUI lawyers at S&R Law Firm, PLLC can help.

Arraignment Hearing

The arraignment hearing is the first court appearance you will make after being charged with a DUI. Arraignments are largely informational: you will be apprised of your charges and the judge will explain your rights in regard to hiring a lawyer. If you are representing yourself in court, you will need to attend arraignment. Keep in mind that these hearings happen at 8:30 am and it is essential to be on time.

The only scenario where you may not be required to attend your arraignment hearing is if you have hired a DUI lawyer in Prince William County. Make sure to discuss whether or not you need to come to this hearing beforehand with them to be certain.

First Court Hearing

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor DUI, your first hearing will happen at the Manassas courthouse. During this hearing, you won’t have to speak unless you have discussed making a statement with your lawyer. Simply knowing that your only job is to be present in court can do a lot to reduce your stress level.

Depending on what information your lawyer has received about your arrest, it is possible that your case could be resolved during your first court hearing. If your lawyer has already received discovery (which includes documentation of your arrest such as documents, video and audio footage) by the time of your first court date, this may be your only court appearance. In many cases, however, your lawyer will not have received discovery yet, in which case you will receive a new court date during this hearing. At this point, you can expect to wait between three and nine weeks after the initial hearing for the second court date.

Additional Hearings in Manassas Court

Once your lawyer receives discovery, they will review it with you and explain whether taking your case to trial is a good idea. If it seems unlikely that you can win your case, your lawyer may advise a plea bargain, and discuss these options with the prosecutor. Depending on the prosecutor, you could be offered a reduction in your charge or your sentence that is acceptable to you, in which case your lawyer will advise you to take it. If, on the other hand, the offer is not satisfactory to you, your attorney may advise declining it and coming to an additional hearing. In this case, the hope is that on your next court date, you will face a different prosecutor and get a better deal. In this case, the benefit of working with an experienced DUI attorney serving Prince William County is that they will be familiar with area prosecutors and can advise you on what to expect from each.

In some cases, you may have to reschedule your court date in Prince William County criminal court due to illness or other obligations. If you need to do this, always tell your attorney as soon as possible, ideally several weeks in advance of your court date. Sometimes your lawyer may need to reschedule, or request a continuance from the judge if there are scheduling issues. Although this can prolong your case, it will not affect its outcome.

Prince William County Court Case Information

Knowing how and when to get to court can make things go a lot more smoothly when you are facing DUI charges. DUI cases are heard at the Prince William County Courthouse, also known as the Manassas courthouse. The Prince William County Courthouse address is:

9311 Lee Avenue Manassas, VA 20110

Court starts promptly at 9 am on Monday through Friday. Arrive at court early if possible, make sure you look presentable, and wait for your lawyer to arrive. They will then advise you on what to do next.

To find more information about Manassas court, including hours, visit the Prince William General District Court page here.

Need Legal Help? Contact S&R Law Firm, PLLC

In most cases, an attorney can help reduce the stress of going to court for a DUI and offer you valuable advice throughout the process that can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.

The team of Prince William DUI lawyers at S&R Law Firm, PLLC has substantial experience helping residents of Manassas get their charges or penalties reduced so that they can go on living a full and normal life as much as possible.

To find out more about your rights or what to expect from your case, contact us for a free consultation at (703) 273-6431.

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