Mar 12, 2020 Fairfax criminal defense lawyer on defending in this Virginia county
Fairfax criminal defense – This is one of Virginia’s busiest courthouses
Fairfax criminal defense has its own rhythm, peculiarities and challenges, just as does each Virginia county courthouse. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that a significant part of successful criminal defense is knowing your judge, how to deal with prosecutors (now with an entirely new Fairfax chief prosecutor who replaced the decades-old former commonwealth’s attorney regime), and knowing the courthouse’s written and unwritten procedures and practices, together with full preparation, and excellence in advocacy and persuasion.
Fairfax criminal defense in the General District Court- The most common division of this courthouse
The highest number of Fairfax criminal cases originate in the General District Court, which handles misdemeanors, infractions, and felony cases at the preliminary hearing stage usually before the case proceeds to any indictment stage. Jailable cases call for obtaining a qualified lawyer to defend against risks of conviction and sentencing, and harm to one’s reputation and livelihood. While those who qualify as indigent can obtain a court-appointed lawyer — whether through the public defender’s office or via a court-appointed private practicing attorney — the court denies court appointed lawyers when the prosecution waives the option to seek incarceration time in the event of a conviction, which denial can be a tragedy.
Get to the Fairfax courthouse early
Get to the Fairfax courthouse both to find parking, and also to be ready for long lines into court, not only at the main entrance, but also at the rear entrance across the street from my law firm. Lawyers with Fairfax courthouse passes get to bypass the waiting lines. Wear pants that hold up without a belt if the security personnel tell you to remove your belt before passing through the metal detector. If you are not represented by a Fairfax criminal lawyer in your courtroom before your case’s start time, use the restroom before court starts, lest your name gets called while you are using the facilities, only to get found guilty in absentia or to receive a failure to appear criminal charge.
Appear timely for arraignment and attorney review dates
Fairfax criminal court and many other Virginia courts hold arraignment and attorney review dates, in part to reduce the number of criminal defendants who request continuances on their trial dates to obtain lawyers. At the same time, summonsed cases and numerous other misdemeanor cases do not get assigned arraignment dates in the Fairfax General District Court, in which case the judge should grant a first time postponement on the first court date if the defendant wants more time to obtain a lawyer.
Do not expect Fairfax prosecutors to speak with criminal defendants without lawyers
Having a qualified criminal defense lawyer is important for many reasons, including getting access to talk with the prosecutor to obtain evidence, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both sides’ case, and to pursue negotiation discussions when advisable. Representing oneself for a jailable criminal matter can be penny wise and pound foolish.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz pursues your best defense against felony, misdemeanor and DUI prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 to schedule a free in-person confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending criminal case.