Alexandria City’s courthouse is a few miles from Virginia criminal lawyer Jon Katz’s Fairfax headquarters. Jon Katz defends misdemeanor, felony and DUI clients charged in Alexandria and the other Northern Virginia courthouses.
The Alexandria City courthouse on King Street, not to be mistaken with the federal courthouse closer to the Beltway, has three Circuit Court judges, two General District Court judges, and two Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court judges.
The city’s population includes plenty of government employees and people of wealth, and its jurors are generally not likely to start off as skeptical of police, prosecutors and their functions. Routinely in Circuit Court, criminal defendants opt for bench trials rather than jury trials in this courthouse.
Alexandria General District Court misdemeanor and DWI cases start off with an arraignment date soon after the incident date. As with most Virginia counties, a defendant can avoid attending the arraignment by in advance hiring a lawyer who enters an appearance in the case. Before the arraignment date, the defendant’s lawyer can check with the prosecutor’s office to agree on a trial date. If an agreed trial date cannot be reached, the matter may be addressed with the judge.
The Alexandria prosecutor’s office generally is efficient at getting the discovery in its possession — that it is willing to share — early on to criminal defense lawyers at their request, so long as the lawyer reviews the discovery at the prosecutor’s office.
Commonly the first trial date can be continued on that date in General District Court.
Alexandria Circuit Court criminal procedural information can be found here.
Non-lawyers to the courthouse are barred from bringing cellphones into the courthouse, which has small lockers for storing them.
The courthouse can be reached by car, the Metro (taking a pleasant walk from the King Street Metro stop), and bus. If taking the Capital Beltway to the courthouse, take the local lanes or else you will miss the exits to the courthouse.