What To Expect In Court From a DUI Charge in Henrico County
If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Henrico County, Virginia the following is what you should know before appearing in court including, where your case will be held, how long your case will take, and what will need to be proven against you. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with a Henrico County DUI lawyer today.
Where Do DUI Cases in Henrico County Take Place?
Henrico DUI cases are heard in General District Court of Henrico which is located at the government center of East Parham Road. General district courts are on the first floor of the court building where there are four court rooms that hear these types of cases.
In general, Henrico DUI cases are heard before only a judge especially with the first or second offense because they’re heard in general district court. If appealed these matters can be heard before a jury or if it is a 3rd offense case.
How Long Does A Henrico County DUI Case Take?
A first or second offense DUI case typically takes anywhere from 60 to 90 days from the arrest date. If it’s a felony case, it can take upwards of six months to a year.
Prosecution of DUI Cases in Henrico County
Henrico DUI cases are prosecuted very vigorously. Henrico County is a zero tolerance area (pdf) so from a first offense to third offense, prosecutors will pursue these cases vigorously to get a conviction.
With that in mind, in a Henrico DUI case the prosecutor has to show several things:
- First they have to show that you’re operating a vehicle in the county and that you’re operating a vehicle while under the influence. Operating a vehicle is not only just driving the vehicle but simply being in control of it while in operation. This means you can be charged with DUI if you’re simply sitting in a parking lot with your car running or even in some cases sitting in your driveway with the lights on.
- Additionally, a prosecutor they must show you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while in control of the vehicle to such a level that would impair your ability to drive. Prosecutors do this by having the officer testify about your driving, behavior, performance on the field tests, and the results of your breath or blood tests.
Henrico County DUI Trends
The one thing we’ve noticed over the last several years in Henrico County is that prosecutors are becoming more open to negotiation. This is a direct result of just how harsh the penalties have become on DUI cases. If your attorney can raise strong legal issues as well as mitigating factors, the prosecutors are more open to consider reducing the possible sentences or in some cases even reducing the charge.