What you can expect to experience at the Prince William County General District Court.
When you get charged with a Traffic Offense or a Criminal charge, Court can be extremely stressful. It takes “some of the edge off” if you know what to expect in advance. So have your DUI / DWI or Reckless Driving Lawyer Prince William VA explain how it works in Prince William.
Location: The Prince William County Court is located at 910 Lee Ave., Manassas, VA.
Parking: Parking is super easy and free. There are a number of open air lots near the Court. They rarely fill up.
Entry: The Court House entrance has only one metal detector and screening device (some time they use two on very busy days, but I have rarely seen the line get extremely long). It is rare that it takes a long time to get through security.
Cell phones and lap tops: Prince William County Court does NOT allow any cell phones, lap tops, or anything that can take a picture. And there is no place to check it or put it in your locker. They will make you walk all the way back to your car. So, leave it in your car!
Location of the actual court rooms in the court house: Prince William Court is the second busiest in Northern Virginia (Fairfax is by far the most busy). However, the population has boomed and the court has not quite caught up. So, the court rooms can me jammed. After you going through security, all the Courts for Criminal and Traffic are on the second floor. As soon as you walk up the steps, by the stair well are t.v. screens with the docket. Find your name and it will say by your name, Court Room 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. These Court rooms are in the adjacent hallway. If you have any questions, right by the t.v. screens, is an information desk.
What location is best to meet your attorney: Be sure to arrange with your attorney where to meet. We prefer meeting in the Court Room hallway outside of the Court Room door. We usually suggest meeting 15 minutes prior the beginning of Court.
What to expect in court: In Prince William, it is rare that a Prosecutor will have looked at your case prior to the day of Court. Most Prosecutors go the Court Room 5 at about 8:30 where they talk to all the Police Officers prior to Court. For cases where there is an attorney, the Prosecutors will get the facts from the Police during this time. If they can’t get to all the Officers, then after Court starts, they will meet the Officers in the hallway. From about 9:30 to 11:OO a.m., the Prosecutors meet with each DUI / DWI or Reckless Driving Lawyer Prince William VA to discuss the case. If your attorney and the Prosecutor can agree on a Plea Agreement, then your attorney will go over it with you in the hallway. Your attorney should explain the deal and what rights you are giving up when you agree to a Plea. The final decision is your decision. You do not have to take the Plea Agreement. Also, a Prosecutor does not have to offer an agreement. If you agree to the agreement, for non-criminal offenses the Prosecutor will trust the Defense Attorney to accurately explain the deal to the Judge. If the deal is a Plea to a Misdemeanor, then a Plea Form will need to be filled out.
A good DUI / DWI or Reckless Driving Lawyer Prince William VA handles only one case a day. Some cheap lawyers do 3 – 5 a day. Beware of that. These attorneys need to be in 2 – 4 other court rooms in addition to your court room. They usually have to take whatever deal the Prosecutor offers because they have to go to other court rooms or even other court houses. The process in Prince William can take a while on very busy days, so don’t expect to get out of there until noon. Or if your case goes to trial, in the afternoon. If you do not accept a Plea Agreement or if one is not offered, you will go to trial that day.
Conclusion: Prince William Court has different procedures than other Courts. Thus, you should make sure that your DUI / DWI or Reckless Driving Lawyer Prince William VA is experienced in Prince William County. I have been practicing law for 29 years and estimate that I have been in Prince William Court over 1,000 times.