Virginia DUI Court Preparation
Virginia DUI court preparation is vital. When a person is charged with a DUI, they are given several pieces of paper and at least two of them will have their court date on it. One is the arrest warrant itself or any summons that the person might have received. The other piece of paper is a form called a recognizance, which is the document that gives information about the manner in which a person was released from jail, whether it be through a bond or a personal recognizance. All of those documents will have a person’s court date. If a person cannot locate these documents, that person should call the court directly and find out what their court date is. To learn more, contact a professional DUI lawyer who can guide you through the process and provide sound legal counseling.
Appearing in Court
For a DUI, a person must appear and Virginia DUI court preparation must be done. Not showing up is an offense that carries jail time regardless of whether or not it is the first offense. Under most circumstances, that jail time is suspended, which means a person does not have to serve jail time. Generally speaking, if the charge that the person is facing carries with it the possibility of jail time, they must appear in court.
Consequences of Not Appearing
Consequences of not appearing to a court date depend on why a person is not there. If a person decides not to show up or that person’s lawyer has no idea where they are and can make no representations to the court about why a person is missing, the most likely outcome is that the court would issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. Once that warrant is served, they are going to have a very hard time convincing that judge to let them back out on bond.
Changing Court Dates
People move court dates for a continuance all the time. This can be attributed to their lawyer having a scheduling conflict on the day of the trial, but there could be other circumstances that could convince a court to continue the court date, such as a planned family vacation or work condition that requires a person to be out of town or otherwise locked up in mandatory meetings. Courts are understanding, to a degree. They know people have a schedule and sometimes those schedules cannot be altered. If a person has a problem with their court date, they should let their lawyer or the court know as soon as possible.
If they do not, that individual would be held in jail and they would not be released until that person’s return to Virginia. They would face an extradition hearing and they would need a lawyer in that state for the extradition hearing and then they would be transported through that state’s jail to Virginia. Virginia would come to get that person, they would be shackled, and that person would be put in a prison van or prison bus and driven back to Virginia.
Court Preparation Before Date
Before a person’s court date, the defense should have discovery ready and should have all of the defenses that it intends to try to use. In addition, if the lawyer has given the individual any items to do before going to court in an effort to try to mitigate their exposure, then the lawyer would expect the person to bring all of that information to the pretrial conference. Once the lawyer and person sit down go over defenses and mitigation, the lawyer will be able to give the individual a fair expectation as to what might happen and prepare them mentally for what plea offer the government might be willing to make. Usually, the lawyer can predict with some accuracy the kind of plea offers that the government might make, and so the individual should be well prepared.
The most important thing is to set a plan for the morning of the court date so that a person knows what time they might have to get up, what time to leave the house, where they are going to park, what it takes to get into the courthouse, what a person is not allowed to bring, and so forth. Prior planning prevents negative occurrences. Talk to a skilled attorney for more on how to prepare for a Virginia DUI court date.