Criminal Charges in Prince William County

Below, Matthew Crowley, a criminal defense attorney in Virginia, discusses criminal charges in Prince William County including the most common offenses he sees and where people are taken after they are arrested. To get in contact with a lawyer in Prince William County call today and schedule a free consultation.

What Are The Most Common Criminal Offenses That You See in Prince William County?

The most common criminal offenses I encounter in Prince William County are DUI and DWI, drug possession, possession with an intent to distribute, violent crimes such as assault and battery, malicious or unlawful wounding including domestic assaults and batteries,  as well as property crimes including larceny, shoplifting, or embezzlement and increasingly, there are a number of what we sometimes refer to as sex crimes including statutory rape and child pornography.

Where is An Individual’s Case Most Likely to be Heard if They Are Charged in Prince William County?

If someone is charged with a criminal case in Prince William County, their case will be heard in one of the courts at the Prince William County court house which is located in Manassas, Virginia.

If it’s a misdemeanor, their case will be heard in the General District Court unless it’s a crime that involves a child as a victim or a family member as a victim, or if the defendant is himself a juvenile, in which case it will be held in juvenile and domestic General District Court.

If they are charged with a felony, ultimately their case will be heard in Prince William County Circuit Court.

Where is An Individual Taken After they Are Arrested in Prince William County?

After someone is arrested in Prince William County, they can be taken into one of any number of law enforcement facilities depending on whether they are arrested by county police or state police or even city of Manassas police. But ultimately, if they are held for any period of time, they will be brought to the Prince William County Detention Center.

Do Local Prince William County Laws or Ordinances Ever Come Into Play During Criminal Cases?

They can. Prince William County has adopted a code which has numerous traffic and criminal provisions contained in it. So when someone is stopped for a traffic offense, they can actually be charged under Virginia law or they can be charged under the Prince William County code.

Examples of that include all of the typical traffic violations such as speeding, running a stop sign, running a red light, failure to yield, etc. While it’s somewhat unusual for an officer to charge someone under the county code, it’s certainly possible and it does sometimes occur.