What to Know About Colonial Heights DUI Cases

DUI cases are different everywhere you go. There are local factors such as judges and certain elements of law enforcement that can impact a case. Here is what to know about Colonial Heights DUI cases. A DUI lawyer may be able to give more information regarding your case.

Where Colonial Heights DUI Cases are Heard

All misdemeanors are heard in the General District Court and DUIs are a Class 1 Misdemeanor. If the person has an elevated DUI such as a third offense within 5 years or a third offense within 10 years, those are felony cases and normally begin in the General District Court but will be adjudicated in the Circuit Court.

Most DUI cases are going to be bench trial cases, meaning it will be wholly handled by a judge. Since most DUIs begin in the General District Court, a person in that court is not given the right to a trial by jury. The DUI process, from the time the person is arrested for DUI to the time that the case is adjudicated normally takes anywhere from one to three months. A local attorney may have a more specific time frame after a consultation.

The Prosecution in a Colonial Heights DUI Case

Every jurisdiction in Virginia vigorously prosecutes DUI cases. While they may not be asking for the max every time, they are always seeking convictions on DUIs. In order to prove a DUI, the Commonwealth must prove that the individual operated a motor vehicle on the highways of Virginia and at the time they operated that motor vehicle they were in an impaired state.

Appealing to the Circuit Court

Appealing to the Circuit Court just means that the person does not agree with the decision of the judge, either in sentencing or in the substantive case, and they would like to have another judge or jury hear the facts and make a ruling based off of the facts from the General District Court case.

Most Important Reminders

DUI cases in Colonial Heights are not something that gets dealt with quickly, so it is important to have patience. If you are stopped for a DUI, know that field sobriety tests are consent-based and that you do not have to take them. It may actually be wiser to refuse. You also have the fifth amendment right to remain silent. A local DUI attorney will be able to tell you what to know about Colonial Heights DUI Cases in greater detail. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your rights.