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Virginia criminal court- Will I go to jail for my DUI or criminal case?

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Virginia Criminal Court- Image of jail cells

Virginia criminal court- Will I go to jail for my DUI or criminal case?

Virginia criminal court brings the risk of active and/or suspended jail time if you are charged with a Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor or a felony offense. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I regularly hear my clients and potential clients ask about their risk of jail time. I often respond that they can help write the answer to that question by obtaining a qualified lawyer, working closely and well as a team with their lawyer, engaging in relevant self improvement activities, and being ready to risk going to trial when doing so is prudent. Of course, specific factors relating to doing jail time and how long (and other aspects of a potential sentence) include whether the defendant is convicted or not, who is the judge and jury, the prosecutor involved, the prospects for settlement negotiations and any sentencing, the specific allegations, the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case, the quality of testimony that will come from the witnesses on both sides, and the criminal case history and personal history of the defendant.

Should I only be concerned about my jail exposure in Virginia criminal court? Acquittal and dismissal prospects are also important to consider

Being prepared for trial and to fight for an acquittal or dismissal of your DUI or criminal case in Virginia criminal court are very important, rather than exclusively planning for a favorable plea deal, as the defendant authorizes that. Those who want only to hire a lawyer for the best possible plea deal are perhaps overlooking that all case settlement negotiations need to come from a trial-ready position of strength, and that by being ready for trial the defense will not get caught with its pants down if settlement negotiations do not yield an agreement between the Virginia DWI / criminal defendant and the prosecutor.

Who will be my judge and jury?

Who will be your judge and jury members in Virginia criminal court? In Fairfax General District Court, a Virginia criminal and DUI defendant do not usually know until the trial date who their judge will be. In Circuit Court, the defendant might learn the judge’s name as much as one day before the trial date. Jury panel lists can be obtained before the trial date. In other counties, it can be possible further in advance to get a forecast or definite information on who your judge will be.

What are my prospects for settlement negotiations in Virginia criminal court?

Your settlement negotiations prospects improve in Virginia criminal court as the prosecutor sees that the prosecution has bets to hedge in the matter. Your settlement prospects can also improve when you have proactively pursued relevant self improvement steps, including community service, and DUI-relevant self improvement for such cases.

Arguing in negotiations and sentencing hearings for a quid pro quo that offsets or eliminates active jail time

Settlement negotiations in Virginia criminal court are ideally pursued by focusing on goals versus positions, including taking the goal of avoiding active jail time and, in return offering a higher fine, higher suspended jail time, and additional self improvement activities, including more voluntary community service.

Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan Katz pursues your best defense against Virginia DUI, felony and misdemeanor prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 for a free in-person consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case.