About Federal & Virginia Courts
All Virginia and federal courts are bound by law to apply rules of procedures and evidence to each case it hears. These procedures are applied uniformly, without regard to personal considerations. It should be noted that the State and Federal Courts apply different rules. Judges are sworn to enforce without favor the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia or federal law. Even minor traffic offenses and criminal charges can have significant consequences for those charged. You as a defendant have rights guaranteed through both the Constitution of Virginia and the United States. Among these are the right to be represented by competent counsel to assist you with advice and to represent you in any proceeding. The laws and procedures of the courts are complicated and penalties can be severe. It is the goal of the Law Office of Michael S. Davis to provide representation that is of the highest professional standard and to protect your rights and avail you of any defenses that may be available to you.
Traffic Court Procedures
The courts in Virginia have very strict procedures that will be followed in every case. These procedures will vary depending on the type of case that you have.
Usually after being charged with a traffic offense you will be issued a summons to appear in court. For some traffic offenses you may actually be taken into custody such as in the case of a DWI. If you are released on a summons and not taken into custody your first appearance in the court will be for trial. There are some exceptions to this rule. In accident cases and in some other instances there may be a requirement for a second appearance. Otherwise, your first appearance will be for the purpose of entering a plea or to conduct a trial. If the court finds you guilty there will be a penalty imposed which may involve a fine and court costs and could involve the imposition of jail depending on the nature of the offense. The maximum fine in this court is $2500.00. The maximum jail that can be given on each offense is 12 months. In addition there are court costs that must be paid and can not be waived by the court.
If you have been incarcerated as a result of an offense you will be taken to the magistrate after your arrest where the magistrate has the option of releasing you on your promise to appear in court, or, you may be given a bond that must be paid to ensure your appearance in court. The magistrate also has the option of refusing to issue a bond in which case you will be kept in jail until you appear for an arraignment before a judge who will set a bond and conditions for your release. Usually arraignments are set for the next court date after your arrest. The case will then follow the same procedure as if you had been released on a summons. There are situations where the magistrate and the judge refuse to set a bond for your release. In these cases you have a right to appeal your bond to the Circuit Court to try and reverse this decision.