Colonial Heights DUI Court Dates

Whenever courts are dealing with a criminal matter–and a DUI is a criminal matter– the Constitution of Virginia says that the defendants need to be present in court so that they know what is going and have notice of the progress of their case. Even if a defendant hires a DUI attorney, they still must be personally present before a judge for all relevant court dates.

Where to Find Information About a Court Date

Whether it be for arraignment, a motion or a trial in Colonial Heights, a defendant would hear about a court date in one of two ways. If it is a joint, agreed-upon court date, they would be present when the date is set or the date would be set in writing on a document that they have signed.

Second, the defendant’s court date could be found on the online case information system for Colonial Heights circuit and general district court. In addition, the court date will be noted with the clerk’s office, so they could always call the clerk’s office to learn about a court date as well.

Changing a Court Date

Defendants may change their court date prior to an appearance by way of a signed order by themselves, their lawyer and the Commonwealth attorney. A defense attorney would draft a motion to continue an order. They would then call the general district court and get a list of court dates that are available and talk with the Commonwealth attorney. A date would be selected, and that date would be placed on the order. The person, their lawyer, and the Commonwealth attorney would sign the order, and order would be filed with the court. If everybody agrees, the judge would continue the case.

Failure to Appear

The consequences of not appearing in court may be severe. In many cases, a judge may issue a warrant for arrest for a failure to appear, called a bench warrant. Also, a defendant could be charged with a show cause, meaning that the judge would issue a new charge saying that they have to not only appear in court for the DUI but also to explain to the judge why they should not be punished further for missing their appearance.

Out-of-State Defendants

If a defendant is from out of state, the have options to change the court date to a time that is feasible for travel. To do that, they need to contact a lawyer, discuss with their lawyer the fact that they are out of state, and explain that they need to have the case continued. The lawyer can then file the necessary motions and get everything ready so that the case could be continued to a day that works for everyone.

There are consequences for missing a court date if someone is from out of state. If they miss a court date in which the judge required them to be present, one of two things could happen. One, they could find them guilty in their absence, depending on the severity of the case. Second, a judge could order a bench warrant for their arrest. If that bench warrant is issued and they are subsequently stopped in Virginia or any other jurisdiction, the warrant would pop up and they would be held.

Hire a DUI Attorney to Accompany You at all Court Dates

If you are facing charges, you do not need to go before a judge on your own. An experienced criminal defense attorney could accompany you to all Colonial Heights DUI Court Dates to protect your rights, advocate for leniency, and preserve your future. Contact a lawyer today for legal representation.

Colonial Heights DUI Court Dates