Alexandria City rules on Continuances and Discovery in General District Court

Alexandria City rules on Continuances and Discovery in General District Court

Alexandria City is a small jurisdiction, so not many attorney in Northern Virginia practice there.  As such, not many attorneys know their particular procedures.  In Northern Virginia Courts, (e.g. Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun), each Court has different rules.  An attorney must know the differences, or his client will receive substandard representation.  This article talks about the Arlington County continuance and discovery procedures.  A Traffic, DUI and Reckless Driving Lawyer Alexandria VA must be aware of these procedural differences.

A continuance is a request to the Court to delay the next court date to a date in the future.  A continuance is routinely granted one time to both the defense and the prosecution.  Courts and Commonwealth’s Attorneys are cognizant of the fact that lawyers have numerous clients with conflicting court dates and that Defendants often have child care and job issues. But additional continuance requests are tough to get since the Courts need to get cases through the dockets efficiently.  So multiple continuances will only be granted with a good reasons, such as sickness or evidence that is not yet available.

Virginia laws and Court Rules do not give very much to the defense.  Most states require a lot more.  In Virginia, a Traffic, DUI and Reckless Driving Lawyer Alexandria VA is only entitled to evidence showing that the Defendant did not do the crime and statements that a Defendant made.  For example, videos and confessions must be turned over the defense.  But that’s about it.  The Prosecutor does not have to give what most attorneys really want, the police reports and witness statements. This has been the subject of many bills in the Virginia General Assembly, but all bills requiring more discovery have been killed.  If a lawyer has the police report and witness statements he can better determine if the case is a loser and entering plea negotiations is necessary, or if it is a winner and trial is likely.  The good news is that Alexandria Prosecutors provide Traffic, DUI and Reckless Driving Lawyers Alexandria VA both the police reports and witness statements!

Continuance:

  • By motion for traffic and criminal Prosecutors (other than infractions). Motions are heard at 9:30am.
  • If an infraction, ask a clerk.

Discovery:

  • Contact Prosecutor to request and view.
  • No motion needed.
  • Done in person.
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