DUI Process in Manassas, Virginia

DUIs in Manassas are heard at the Prince William County courthouse, which is located in Manassas at 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas, Virginia 20110. Adult cases would be handled in the General District Court, which is on the second floor of the courthouse. Arraignments are held at 8:30 am in courtroom one and trials are typically heard at 9:00 am in courtroom three, four, or five. All cases that occur in Prince William are heard at the same courthouse.

Parking at the Manassas Courthouse

There are lots of areas to park in front of the courthouse. There are areas with large lots right in front of the courthouse that are open to the public. There is also some parking near the courthouse that is not open to the public that is for the administration. The places where people are not allowed to park are well marked. There is also a spillover lot, which is a little bit further away but certainly within walking distance.

Process of a DUI Case in Manassas

Oftentimes the case starts with someone being pulled over for some sort of traffic infraction or an observation that the officer makes that leads them to suspect that the driver is intoxicated. The officer will pull the person over and start investigating to see whether or not they suspect the person is actually intoxicated. If they do arrest the person, this is usually done without a warrant; it is usually a warrantless arrest. The person is taken to a police station or the hospital, depending on the circumstances, to have a blood or breath sample taken.

If they are booked on suspicion of DUI, they are then taken in front of a magistrate. A magistrate would determine whether it is appropriate for the case to release the suspect on bond or on their personal recognizance. The magistrate can also determine whether or not that is appropriate and hold the person until either their court day comes or a ban motion is filed. Then the case proceeds to arraignment. The purpose of arraignment in General District Court is simply to determine whether the person is going to hire their own counsel or whether they would like to seek court-appointed representation.

If the person has an attorney before the arraignment date, that arraignment can be waived and the case then gets a trial date. In the interim, the attorney would be trying to get discovery and the criminal record, if applicable. They would also do the legal research and try to investigate the case as much as possible. Then there is a trial date where there will be plea negotiations and it could be continued to another date or they could have a trial on that date. If the case does go to trial and the person does not get the desired outcome or they would like a different judge to hear the case, then they are entitled to an appeal within 10 days.

Continuances in Manassas DUI Cases

Continuances are handled by a motion in General District Court. They can be done orally or by a written motion. If the client is unable to come to court for work-related reasons or a scheduled trip, an attorney can file a motion with the court to ask the court to continue the case at a later court date. Otherwise, a continuance can be asked for on the day of court. By policy, the first continuance is freely granted, but for any subsequent continuances there needs to be a good cause shown as to why a continuance is necessary in the case. The first continuance is likely to be granted, subsequent continuances are more difficult to come by.