Brunswick County DUI cases are usually heard in the Brunswick County General District Court on Main Street in Lawrenceville. Most DUI cases are bench trials in the general district court.
However, if a misdemeanor DUI is appealed to the circuit court or if it is a felony DUI case, it might be heard before a jury. Many DUI cases can be tried in 30 minutes, but some take as long as two or three hours depending on the facts of each DUI case. DUI cases are heard with the other criminal cases all in the same day, so even if someone has a relatively straightforward case, they might expect to be in court for a few hours.
Brunswick County tends to prosecute DUI cases vigorously. If you are facing charges, you should get in touch with a seasoned DUI lawyer today.
In Brunswick County DUI cases, the prosecutor needs to prove that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle, and that does not necessarily mean actively driving it. For instance, the defendant could have just had the key in the ignition while the car was idle. Also, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of operating the vehicle, and they must prove that they were operating the vehicle on the Virginia public highways.
Typically, evidence in DUI cases includes the testimony of the officer related to the officer’s observations during the DUI stop and leading up to it. Often, evidence will also include video footage from the officers’ body and dash camera. Occasionally, evidence will include testimony from a toxicologist and testimony from the defendant in addition to that chemical analysis.
In Brunswick County, how sentencing is handled depends on how a DUI case proceeds. If it proceeds with a plea agreement, often the judge will simply announce and affirm the agreed-upon sentence. If it results in a dismissal, there is no sentencing. Any other sentencing result will be determined by a judge apart from a jury trial DUI. After determining a defendant to be guilty, a jury will then set a sentence for a DUI defendant.
All misdemeanor DUIs can be appealed within ten days of being found guilty. That results in a brand-new trial with a different judge in the circuit court. Following felony trials or misdemeanor appeal trials, an individual has the option to appeal to the Court of Appeals. That is a different process that does not guarantee a new trial, and the Court of Appeals must find a legal error before agreeing to grant the defendant a new trial. Appealing to the circuit court means that the person wants their misdemeanor case to be heard again, and it would be heard from the beginning as a brand-new trial with a new judge.
A person should know that Brunswick County DUI cases are serious, they carry serious consequences, and they are likely to be prosecuted vigorously by the Commonwealth’s Attorney. They should also be aware that there are many possible defenses to a DUI case. Therefore, they should consult with an attorney as soon as possible and reveal to them all relevant information so that they can be best prepared to help earn them a fair result.
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