Fairfax Speeding Ticket Court Process

Due to the fact that a speeding ticket is only a traffic infraction you are not required to show up to court. With that said, however, by paying the fine through the mail or online you are essentially admitting guilt and will have to live with whatever penalties are assessed to your license. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to consult with a Fairfax speeding ticket lawyer as soon as possible so they can assist you in challenging your ticket in court.

If you choose to challenge and take your ticket to court, the following is information on what you should expect. For more specific information regarding your case call and schedule a consultation today.

What To Do When You First Arrive At Court

When you arrive in the morning on the day of your speeding ticket hearing to the General District Court, most of the time there will be a long list of all of the names of everyone being charged with something and then next to them will have what courtroom they’re in. You should find your name, figure out what courtroom you’re in and go wait inside that courtroom for your case to be called.

Your case is going to be public. Everyone who is charged with similar infractions or crimes will be in the same courtroom waiting for their case to be called. It’s not necessarily alphabetical and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason as to what order cases are called in, so you will most likely see a whole different variety of other cases before your case is called and likewise, other people will be present to witness your own case.

Who Else Will Be Involved in My Case?

For a speeding ticket case it is a judge who will make the final decision, so a judge is present along with the police officer who issued you the ticket and your attorney if you choose to have one. There is no prosecutor involved in speeding ticket cases, so no prosecutor will be involved in your case.

Judge Typically Ask?

The first thing the judge will ask is how you plead to the charge, guilty, not guilty or no contest. The police officer will then give their testimony and you can either cross-examine them or not.

Following the officer’s testimony, it will be your turn to present your own evidence, which is not required if you do not wish to do so. You don’t have the burden of proof, so you are not required to question the officer, or testify or put on any evidence or argument at all. You may remain quiet for the entire trial, and just allow the other side to put their case on.

After this, the judge will ask if there is any evidence that anyone would like to put on in terms of the sentence or argument and after that, the judge will issue the sentence right there on the spot and you don’t have to say anything else.

What Questions Will You Be Expected To Answer?

The only question you absolutely have to answer is how do you plea.  After that, you have the option as to whether you want to testify or question the officer at all and you’re not required to do either.

Officer Testimony

The officer is required to testify because the burden of proof to show that you are guilty of what you’re being charged is on the prosecution’s side The officer will testify in terms of what happened at the situation that got you charged in the first place and why they feel that your charges should result in a conviction.

What Happens If The Officer Doesn’t Show Up?

This can go a variety of ways. Sometimes the officers are not present because they have an excuse, such as they have training that day or they called in sick that day. If the officer has informed the court beforehand that they do not plan on being there and have asked for their absence to be excused, then oftentimes, the judge will continue the case.  If this is the second time that an officer has attempted to have his absence excused, many times, the judge will dismiss the case because they don’t want to keep on continuing it over and over again.

However, if the officer is not there and he does not have any excuse, then some judges will dismiss the case and other judges will still continue it.

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