Getting arrested for a DUI in Virginia is often a very daunting experience.
When it happens to you for the first time, you may feel everything from embarrassment to uncertainty.
One of the most common questions that people have about this situation is what to expect at their Virginia DUI court hearing.
To fully answer this question, it’s important to clarify that you will actually appear in front of a judge on multiple occasions. With that in mind, here’s what you can expect during those appearances:
Your First Visit to Court for a Fairfax DUI
Although there are exceptions, most initial DUI appearances are before a magistrate, not a judge (in Virginia) and occur anywhere from 6 to 12 hours after being arrested.
While you may still feel a little out of it or disoriented, do your best to straighten your hair and clothes, as well as pay attention as you’re addressed by the magistrate.
During this proceeding your bail will be set. You’ll also be given the date for your next court hearing. And depending on the specifics of a DUI, this initial court appearance is also when the magistrate will issue a (temporary) driver’s license suspension.
Subsequent Virginia DUI Court Hearings
It’s not uncommon for individuals arrested for a DUI to have at least two more actual appearances in court.
The first trip to court often consists of your attorney meeting with the prosecutor, collecting evidence and perhaps evaluating a plea bargain or offer. The third time in court is often the actual trial or, in some cases, where you may decide to forgo a trial and accept a plea bargain.
There’s a lot that will be need to be covered and considered during any of these times in court, which is why it’s so important that you have an experienced legal representative who can ensure that your best interests are fully protected.
When Should You Contact a Fairfax, Virginia DUI Lawyer?
The time between being arrested for a DUI in Fairfax and making your first appearance in court can be an overwhelming experience.
You’ll likely be bombarded with direct mail pieces touting you incredibly low prices for legal representation along with vague promises and even more vague “attorney reviews”. All this is happening as you feel tired increasingly have difficulty sleeping due to the ominous warnings about jail time from these various pieces of “jail mail”.
As with any legal matter, the sooner you can get an experienced and aggressive Fairfax DUI Attorney involved, the greater the likelihood of building a strong case. Contact Eric E. Clingan at the Nova Law Firm for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.