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Virginia DUI challenges by appeal addressed by Fairfax criminal lawyer

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Virginia DUI challenges by appeal addressed by Fairfax criminal lawyer- Photo of keys and alcohol

Virginia DUI challenges by appeal addressed by Fairfax DUI lawyer

Virginia DUI challenges are many says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Virginia DUI challenges are many. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I am all the more interested in appeals from District Court for Virginia DWI convictions under Virginia Code § 18.2-266, and and all other Virginia misdemeanor convictions, now that doing so will bottleneck the court system for months to come so long as the defendant does not waive his or her right to a jury trial that is available for all Circuit Court criminal prosecutions, even for such non-jailable matters as public intoxication and speeding.

What happens to your driving privileges during Covid-19 when you appeal your Virginia DUI conviction?

A Virginia DUI conviction means losing one’s driving privileges for one year for a first offense, with the option to request restricted driving privileges from the court. Virginia DWI challenges by appeal get your driver’s license back during the appeal process. Unless validly waived, an absolute right to Virginia DUI challenges by appeal applies for every person convicted in District Court for a Virginia DWI or misdemeanor prosecution. Covid-19 means that your appeal for a jury trial in Circuit Court will take until the second half of 2021 at the earliest to go to trial in Fairfax Circuit Court, and probably not much earlier than that in other Virginia circuit courts.

How does the coronavirus affect Virginia DUI challenges at the negotiating table?

Virginia criminal defense and prosecuting lawyers know that Virginia DUI challenges and other District Court appeals to Circuit Court for jury trials will further bottleneck an already bottlenecked jury trial system, due to many months of delays for such trials as a result of Covid-19 policies. In some instances, this may prove beneficial to Virginia DWI defendants for negotiating their cases on appeal with prosecutors. That is because prosecutors have a choice between settling the case for a result acceptable to the criminal defendant, or going to trial without making this appeal  an additional instance of reducing the court’s jury trial backlog.

What are the risks of appealing a guilty or no contest plea from District Court to Virginia Circuit Court?

With Virginia DUI challenges and other misdemeanor appeals or Circuit Court from District Court guilty plea and no contest plea deals, the defendant does risk that the prosecutor will reinstitute any counts that were dismissed as part of the plea bargain, or will also pursue the original charge if it was amended downwards as part of plea bargaining. An appeal from a trial conviction will bar the prosecutor from prosecuting on any count that was already acquitted at trial, based on Constitutional double jeopardy protection.

What is the deadline for bringing DWI appeals to the Circuit Court

Virginia law and procedure imposes a strict ten-day deadline for Virginia DUI challenges to be filed to the Circuit Court by appeal. A ten-day appeal deadline applies, and does not get extended by weekend times nor by holiday times. Do not wait until the last moment to file an appeal, lest you learn that you did not provide yourself and the court sufficient time correctly to file and perfect the appeal.

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