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No Attorney-No Deals in Fairfax County Traffic Court

If you don’t have an attorney in Fairfax County Traffic Court then you cannot work out a deal for your case. Whether it is a DUI or a speeding ticket, prosecutors don’t negotiate with pro se defendants (defendants without attorneys).

I often get asked why this is the case, and the reasons is simple. The Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s office is too busy. Fairfax County traffic court will hear 400-1200 traffic cases in a single morning with only 4-7 prosecutors assigned to traffic court. The prosecutors cannot physically talk to everyone who wants to be heard so they only work with defense attorneys.

I also get asked what will happen if a driver tries to talk to a prosecutor anyways. In almost all cases, the prosecutor will not be able to help you. Most prosecutors will not be rude but they will usually be brisk. Remember they have a lot of work to do in a very small amount of time.The prosecutors are not only too busy, they are also not prepared to help unrepresented drivers.

In order to talk to you about your case a prosecutor needs your court file and they need to have talked to the police officer before hand about your case. If you don’t have an attorney, the prosecutor will not have your file available and will not have talked to the officer about your case.

Another reasons why you can’t talk to prosecutors and officer’s about your case is because you need to be sitting in court. You can’t hold conversations in the courtroom and the prosecutors have a separate office where they do their deals. If you are not in court when the judge calls your case then you will be tried in your absence or issued a bench warrant for your arrest. Be in court on time and do not leave Fairfax traffic court until you are done.

If you have an attorney you should NEVER talk to a prosecutor without your attorney being present. Defense attorneys hate it, prosecutors don’t like it and many good deals have been ruined by a driver who thought it was a good idea to intercept the prosecutor in the hallway.

Drivers often ask me if they can work out deals with the officer. The answer is “No”. In Fairfax County, the officer in your case is not a prosecutor, they are a witness. The Fairfax officers do not tell the judge what to do, they cannot work out deals, and they do not make suggestions to the judge. Like prosecutors, you will not be guaranteed an opportunity to talk to your officer before or during trial.

If you have hopes about negotiating a deal in Fairfax County General District Court (traffic or criminal) then you better have an attorney otherwise your case will be 100% in the hands of the judge alone. There will be no deals and no negotiations.

Luke Nichols

About Luke Nichols

Luke Nichols practices almost exclusively traffic law in Northern Virginia. His primary practice areas include reckless driving, speeding, DUI/DWI, refusal, hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, and driving on a revoked license. Mr. Nichols has represented hundreds of Virginia drivers. You can also connect with Luke on Google+
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