Many who are charged with DUI in Manassas or Prince William County, Virginia are not aware of the penalties they are facing if they are convicted of DUI. If you are facing a DUI 1st offense in Manassas, VA, you could be facing a maximum 12 month jail sentence and a $2500 fine. The penalties increase with each DUI offense, and it is also important to understand that ignition interlock, alcohol classes and probation may also be required. Unsure about the consequences of your Manassas DUI? Contact our office today at (703) 542-4008 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Manassas DUI lawyer.
Contact a Skilled Manassas DUI Lawyer Today!
Our Manassas DUI lawyers have helped both adults and juveniles fight their DUI charge in Manassas, Manassas City and throughout Prince William County. It is essential to hire a DUI lawyer near Manassas because having a DUI lawyer that is familiar with the specific area of Myour charge is the most fundamental aspect of your defense. DUI lawyers who practice near Manassas are familiar with not only the prosecutors but also the judges in Manassas. Our DUI lawyers plan a strategic approach to each Manassas DUI case according to the specific facts of the DUI charge, the prosecutor who is assigned to the DUI case, and the judge that will preside at trial.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES OF A DUI CONVICTION IN MANASSAS?
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Manassas and Prince William are the same as any other jurisdiction within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Read about Virginia DUI penalties here. What differs with a DUI near Manassas is the prosecutors and judges – which is why you should consult with an experienced Manassas DUI lawyer right away. Be sure to hire a DUI lawyer who is familiar with Manassas and how to build the proper defense for your DUI charge. Read specific information about your DUI charge in Virginia here.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY COURTHOUSE INFORMATION
The Prince William County Courthouse is located at 9311 Lee Avenue Manassas, Virginia 20110. The clerk’s office is opened Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. There is ample parking near the courthouse. Unless you are an attorney, you are not permitted to bring your cell phone inside the courthouse.
MANASSAS DWI: ELEVATED BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was a .08% or higher, you are considered to be driving while intoxicated in Virginia. There are two categories of “elevated” blood alcohol concentration: BAC between .15% and .19% and BAC of .20% or greater. The penalties for a DWI with an elevated BAC between .15% and .19% are greater than a DWI of .14% or lower. Likewise, if your BAC was .20% or higher, your penalties are even greater. For specific information on elevated BAC in Virginia, click here.
UNDERAGE DUI IN MANASSAS
If you are under the age of 21 and charged with DUI or DWI in Manassas, you are facing the same consequences as a standard Manassas DUI. The Commonwealth of Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving and Manassas follows this rule. It is in your best interest to speak with a Manassas DUI attorney immediately. Read more about underage DUI here. Our DUI lawyers have reached fantastic resolutions for our underage DUI cases in Manassas – schedule your free consultation today by calling (703) 542-4008
MANASSAS DUI LAWYER EXPLAINS A REFUSAL CHARGE IN VIRGINIA
If you were charged with Refusal in addition to DUI near Manassas, this means you are facing a secondary, civil charge. You refused to submit to the chemical testing of both your breath (at the police station) and blood (taken at the nearest hospital). Because having a driver’s license in Virginia is a privilege as opposed to a “right,” licensed drivers automatically consent to this testing each time they operate a motor vehicle. Read more about the consequences of Refusal in Manassas here.
BUILDING YOUR DEFENSE – DUI LAWYER IN MANASSAS
Discovery or “Evidence Gathering” in a Manassas DUI or DWI Case occurs via motion. Rule 7C:5 of the Virginia Supreme Court states that the prosecution must turn over three pieces of information to the defense in a Virginia DUI case:
- Any relevant oral or written statements made by the defendant
- The defendant’s criminal record
- Any information on expert witnesses (if applicable)
*Please note this process typically takes several weeks, and we will notify you as soon as we have any updates.
- For breath cases: DC-302 (Certificate of Breath/Blood Analysis). This does not apply to refusal cases. The certificate is mailed to us anywhere from two to six weeks after it is requested.
- For blood cases: DC-303 (Motion for Transmission of Blood Sample). This does not apply to refusal cases.
Freedom of Information Act Request
Once we receive the Certificate of Analysis, we contact the Department of Forensic Science (DFS) with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.* This does not apply for refusal cases. The information within these documents outlines the specifics of the machine used for your breath analysis. We examine the dates this machine was last transferred, calibrated and certified.
*Please note this process typically takes several weeks, and we will notify you as soon as we have any updates.
MANASSAS DUI AND DWI: WHAT TO EXPECT IN COURT
ARRAIGNMENT/ATTORNEY REVIEW/INFORMATION ON ATTORNEY (IAD)
If you have retained us prior to any of these dates, you will likely not need to attend this hearing. The purpose of the arraignment is to inform you (defendant) of your DUI charge(s) and explain your right to hire a lawyer. DUI Arraignments in Manassas are at 8:30 am. If you have hired your DUI lawyer prior to your Attorney Review or Information on Attorney date, you will not need to attend this hearing. However, always confirm this information with your Manassas DUI lawyer.
FIRST COURT HEARING: “First Time Up”
Manassas DUI and DWI misdemeanor DUI cases are heard at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. Cell phones are not permitted inside the courthouse. Please wait for your DUI lawyer inside the back of your courtroom. If discovery was received prior to this hearing, your case may be finalized at this court hearing. Discovery entails all documents and video/audio footage of your arrest (IF video/audio exists). It is not uncommon for our firm to receive discovery in Manassas DUI cases after the first court hearing. If this happens with your case, your case will likely receive a new court date at your first hearing. Unless told otherwise by your DUI lawyer, you will not be required to speak. The second court date is typically scheduled 3 to 9 weeks after the first court date. The clerk of the court determines your next court date, not your lawyer. If there is video, your attorney will obtain a copy and watch it with you at a later time in his or her office.
SUBSEQUENT COURT HEARINGS IN A MANASSAS DUI CASE
If discovery was obtained between your first and second court hearing, your case MAY be finalized at your second hearing. Depending on discovery, your DUI lawyer will either advise for or against taking your case to trial. If your attorney believes you would lose at trial, he or she will discuss all possible plea bargains with the prosecutor. If you are unsatisfied with the prosecutor’s offer and your attorney believes a different prosecutor may offer a better deal, your attorney will advise you to continue the case for a third hearing. This way, your case may have a new prosecutor and new plea offers.
CONTINUING OR RESCHEDULING YOUR MANASSAS DUI COURT DATE
There are a number of reasons why your DUI hearing in Manassas may need to be rescheduled or “continued.” The defendant (you) may be out of town, have last minute work obligations or a serious illness. If you need to change your court date, you must let your attorney know right away. Please contact us at least two weeks prior to your scheduled court date if you need to reschedule it. It is usually very difficult for attorneys to have continuance requests granted two or three days before the scheduled court date.
On the other hand, many DUI defense attorneys in Manassas need to request continuances from judges on their own. Your DUI lawyer reserves the right to continue your case for scheduling purposes (i.e. a Fairfax court hearing at 9:30 a.m. would be difficult for an attorney to make if he or she is also scheduled in Prince William at 9:00 a.m.). Every court’s hearing dates are scheduled according to police officers’ assigned court dates. Typically, each officer has anywhere from 1 to 3 assigned court dates each month. For example, your arresting officer is Officer Smith and your current court date is set for June 3. You or your attorney cannot make that date, so your DUI case is continued. Your new court date is set for Officer Smith’s next assigned court date, which is July 16. Your attorney does not have the
There is always a possibility that your lawyer will need to reschedule your current court date. Most DUI lawyers will notify you of this need as soon as possible, although many times attorneys must request continuances the week of the scheduled court date. As stated above, DUI and criminal defense lawyers have scheduling conflicts that require them to frequently rearrange court dates. However, if your DUI lawyer postpones your court date, this will not have any effect on the outcome of your case. Both judges and prosecutors are extremely used to continuance requests, as these requests are made and granted daily. If your case is continued to a new date, this does not reflect poorly on you.
VIRGINIA’S JUDICIAL SYSTEM – MANASSAS DUI AND DWI CASE INFORMATION
The Commonwealth of Virginia provides an online “case system,” which is a helpful tool for both DUI lawyers and their clients. You may use this site to look up individual court information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and policies as well as information on your specific DUI case* in Manassas. Please note that if your case is being handled in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court, you will not be able to access your case information online.You may check the status of your DUI case at www.courts.state.va.us any time. Locate the tab on the left-hand side of the home page, and then click the following:
Case Status and Information
General District Court (You will be asked to enter the reCAPTCHA)
Under the “Court” tab, select Prince William County
Under Traffic/Criminal, click Name Search
The ability to check your case status online may be helpful for a number of reasons:
- You forgot your court date or time
- You want to check in advance which courtroom you’ll be in (some are not posted until the morning of the scheduled hearing)
- You want to check your previous charges
- You want to confirm that your attorney is on record
- You want to know the name of your arresting officer
- You want to know your case number
*If you do not see your case posted, do not be alarmed. Some cases are not posted online until a week or even a day before the court date. If your case is in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court, you will not have access to your case information online.
MANASSAS DUI AND DWI FAQS
- When I was arrested for DUI/DWI in Manassas, the officer took my license. How/when will I get it back?
If you’re charged with a first offense DUI in Virginia, your driving privileges are revoked for 7 days from your arrest date. If you’re charged with a second offense, your driving privileges are revoked for 60 days or until your court date (whichever comes first). If you’re charged with a third offense, your driving privileges are revoked until your trial date. If you’re unsure whether your license will be mailed to you or if you will be required to pick it up at the courthouse, you will need to contact the Traffic Division of the Prince William County General District at 703-792-6141.
- My attorney advised me to sign up for VASAP classes – how do I do this? Can I take the classes online?
Please visit: https://vasap.virginia.gov/locateanasap/bullrun.html for information on the VASAP program in Manassas (Bull Run). You will need to complete this program in person. If your attorney did not advise you to sign up ahead of time, you do not need to sign up.
- My DUI attorney advised me to gather character letters – how do I do this?
Typically, our clients bring us 1 to 5 character letters. These letters may be anywhere from a paragraph to a couple of pages. We do not provide a template for these letters. Please have the author(s) address the letter “To Whom it May Concern.” We recommend asking previous employers, current employers, teachers/professors, co-workers, and long-time family friends to write these letters for you. We ask that you have these letters into us by your second court date. You can have the letter(s) e-mailed directly to us, or forwarded to us from you.
- Do I need to attend my court date for my Manassas DUI or DWI?
If you hired your DUI attorney prior to your arraignment and/or attorney review hearing date in Manassas, you will not need to attend those hearings. You must be present at all other hearings.
- What should I wear to court in Manassas?
Business casual – dress as though you’re attending a job interview.
- My arraignment and/or attorney review hearing have been waived – do I need to meet with my DUI attorney before my discovery hearing?
No. The purpose of your discovery hearing in Manassas is for evidence gathering. Your case will not be finalized at this hearing. Schedule a meeting with your DUI attorney after your discovery date. This way, your attorney will have information (video footage, police report, etc.) from the prosecutor, which will make for a much more productive meeting. Your attorney won’t know the facts of your case until he/she has this information. Meeting with your DUI attorney prior to your discovery date is the equivalent of meeting with your doctor prior to your doctor’s appointment.
- How long will my DUI hearing in Manassas take?
DWI/DUI hearings in Manassas are at 9:00 am Monday through Friday. You should expect to be out of court by 1:00 pm. We can never guarantee when you will be out of court, as we don’t know in advance how long the docket (number of cases) is in your specific courtroom.
- Do I need to arrive early to my DUI hearing in Manassas?
Not unless your attorney advises you to. Your case will not be called prior to 9:00 am.
- Am I allowed to bring my cell phone inside the Manassas courthouse? Inside my courtroom?
- On the morning of court, will I meet my attorney at the office or the courthouse?
The Prince William County courthouse – please have a seat in the back of your courtroom.
- Where do I park at the Prince William courthouse?
There is a lot near the courthouse with ample parking.
- Do I need to contact my attorney once I’ve arrived at the courthouse/courtroom?
No. Your attorney will locate your courtroom and find you.
- Will I be required to speak at my hearing?
You will not be required to speak unless your attorney tells you beforehand.
- Is it okay to post about my case on social media? Can I talk about my case with others?
We strongly advise you not to post any information regarding your case on social media. We also advise you not to speak with anyone about your case until it has been resolved.
- Someone I know was charged with _______ but their attorney had it amended to _______. Will this happen for me too?
Each and every case is unique with its own set of circumstances. Your Manassas DUI case cannot be compared to any other case, even if it’s the same charge.
- I won’t be able to attend my current court date – can we change the date?
Possibly. A first-time continuance request is usually granted in Manassas. We will file a continuance motion or continuance request and receive a new court date at the motion date. Your attorney attends the motion for you – you do not need to attend. We will have a new court date for you the day after the motion date.