Hanover General District Court
The Hanover General District is located off route 301 in the Hanover Government building complex (7515 Library Drive, Hanover, Virginia 23069). You can get to the Court via interstate 95 and take exit 92 toward Hanover, or drive south or north on route 301, depending on where you are traveling from. Historic Hanover tavern is located across the street from the Courthouse. Once in the Hanover Government complex is very easy to navigate. The General District Court and Circuit Court are directly next to each other. Once you pass security in the General District Court, the Courtroom is directly in front of you and the Clerk’s office directly to your left.
What Types of Cases Are Heard in Hanover General District Court?
The Hanover General District Court hears both civil and criminal/traffic cases. Criminal and traffic cases are heard in the General District Court by a judge, but not a jury. Judge Hugh Campbell is the sitting judge for most traffic/criminal cases. The District Court hears cases ranging from basic traffic tickets to preliminary hearings on felony charges. Reckless driving and misdemeanor DUI matters are heard and finalized in General District Court. In cases involving the possibility of active jail time, the Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney Office will serve as prosecutors for the State. In cases where a Commonwealth’s Attorney is involved, a defense attorney can attempt to negotiate a plea agreement or resolution of the matter. There is a ten (10) day automatic right of appeal on all cases in General District Court.
Where Can I Park At Hanover District Court?
Parking for the Hanover General District Court is directly outside the Courthouse. There are multiple lots and ample parking in the Government Complex adjacent to the Courthouse. There is a local Italian restaurant a very short walk from the Government Complex and several shopping centers where you can get food a few miles south on route 301. Cell phones are not allowed in the Courthouse. If you have cell phone in the Courthouse and it goes off, they will ask you to leave and place it in your car. If your case is called while you are doing this, the Judge will hear your in case in your absence (often finding you guilty). In addition, you are also not allowed to bring books, newspapers or cameras into the Courthouse. Unfortunately, there no lockers or storages areas in the Courthouse, and all belongings that are not allowed or that you are not bringing into the Courthouse must remain in your car. While you do not have to wear a suit and tie to Court, I recommend professional dress or business casual. The Court forbids shorts, tank-tops, or other overtly revealing clothing. I recommend showing up for your Court matter at least fifteen minutes early. While the dockets in Hanover often get backed up due to the heavy caseload, if you are not in the Courtroom when your case is called, the Judge will try you in your absence.
Court Etiquette For Hanover General District Court
Court etiquette is extremely important as it can impact the outcome of your case. You should always be respectful to the Judge, Bailiffs, and Officers present. While you can be forceful in presenting your case, you should not raise your voice, swear, or interrupt others during your hearing. Common mistakes people make is when they roll their eyes, make noises or gestures when someone is testifying, and being disrespectful to the Judge or others during trial. When your reputation and character are in question during a criminal or traffic matter, how you present yourself is extremely important.
Avoiding Mistakes at Hanover General District Court
Some other common mistakes individuals make in Court is in how they present their case. The Court hears hundreds of cases each day, so it is best to be short and to the point in presenting your matter. Stick to the facts of the case and be able to support with documentation or witness testimony any theories or arguments you wish to present. If you present irrelevant information or unfounded arguments, you can confuse the Court and harm your case. This is why having the expertise of a seasoned attorney is so important. Our attorneys have knowledge of the Hanover Court and an understanding of how to present your case in such a way to obtain the best results possible.