Manassas DUI Court Judges
It is good to know what to expect from the judges in a DUI case, and it is especially good if a lawyer has prior personal experience with the particular judge. With this in mind, a Manassas DUI lawyer can can assist their client in understanding and dealing with the local Manassas Courts and judges.
Manassas General District Court Judges
The judges at the General District Court in Manassas are some of the better judges in Northern Virginia. They do not have a reputation in most cases for being overly harsh and they are fair and willing to listen to a defendant’s case, as well as listen to technical arguments that the attorneys will make. There really are no judges in that jurisdiction that have a reputation among lawyers as being judges to avoid.
In addition, the judges in Manassas are very familiar with DUI laws. Most of them are either former defense attorneys or former prosecutors who have dealt with this area of the law during their careers prior to coming on the bench. Even for those for whom that is not true, DUI is one of the most common types of cases that is tried in front of a General District Court judge, so they learn very quickly to have a very deep understanding of DUI law, as well as the typical tactics used by each side and the factual scenarios that typically present themselves in DUI cases.
How Judges Are Chosen in General District Court
General District Court judges are chosen by the Virginia General Assembly, which is the legislature for the state of Virginia. There is a nomination process whereby the judge is nominated and then a committee within the general assembly determines whether they will be brought before the larger general assembly for a vote.
If the general assembly approves them, then they are appointed to a term of eight years for Circuit Court judges, and six years for General District Court judges
What to Expect From the District Judges
Every judge is a little bit different and has particular views on particular issues. In the case of DUIs, there certainly is some variation among the judges on how they view certain legal issues, whether they are sympathetic to a greater or lesser degree to certain kinds of arguments. This is one of the things that a defendant must rely on their attorney for and one of the reasons that it is important that the individual use someone local because they are not going to find out who their judge is until the day of trial, so they need someone who is familiar with all the local judges.
At that point, it is going to be important for the attorney to have a good sense and to know what judge they have and what that is going to mean tactically for the case going forward.
Circuit Court Judges
The judges at the Circuit Court in Manassas are jurists who for the most part have had careers in or on the bench prior to being a Circuit Court judge. Most of them have first either been a General District Court judge or a Juvenile and Domestic Court judge.
Circuit Court judges are in many ways more sophisticated or at the least have more experience in law than lower court judges do. Each judge in Prince William County is somewhat different and like judges in other courts, there are certain arguments that are more or less likely to be successful or not successful in front of a particular judge.
This is something that the attorney has to evaluate as they move forward with the case to give their client the best advice on what tactics to use at trial or even in the context of a plea agreement.
How Judges Are Chosen
Circuit Court judges are chosen by the Virginia General Assembly. They are nominated and voted on in committee and then ultimately voted on before the body of the general assembly. If they are approved, they are appointed to a term of 8 years to serve as a judge for the Circuit Court.
Circuit Court Judge Legal Knowledge
Most Circuit Court judges have, prior to being appointed to the Circuit Court, served as trial judges in either the Juvenile and Domestic Court or the General District Court. Most of them have a great depth of knowledge coming into their job about DUI law and have heard hundreds if not thousands of cases in their career.
It is fair to say that most Circuit Court judges are as sophisticated or more sophisticated than any other judges that sit in any particular jurisdiction when it comes to DUI law.
Circuit Court Expectations
Every judge on the Circuit Court bench is somewhat different. Each of them bring their own particular backgrounds, experiences, and inclinations to their job as a judge. Every judge has somewhat different views of some of the legal issues that surround DUI, as well as certain tactics that are more or less likely to persuade them.
What someone should expect is that their attorney is going to know who each of the judges are and how the personality or thought processes of a particular judge in question will affect their case.