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Traffic Court Appeals

Absolute Right to Appeal Traffic Offenses to Circuit Court

No matter what happens in General District Court or Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, you have an absolute right to appeal. Circuit Court is a completely different court and in some counties the Circuit Court is located in a different building or even a different city.

Innocent Pending Appeal in Virginia

Additionally, the moment you appeal the GDC/JDR court's decision, the court's punishments are vacated and are completely thrown away. For example, if your driver's license is suspended by the General District Court judge and you appeal the decision that same day, you will get your license back immediately.

An appeal in Circuit Court is a complete do-over (a de novo appeal). It may be possible for you to receive a more severe punishment than you received in General District Court.

10 Days to Appeal Traffic Tickets to Circuit Court – 10 Days to Withdraw Appeals

You can appeal the General District Court/Juvenile Domestic Relations Court's decision within 10 days after your trial. This means you can get a entirely new trial in front of a different judge if you request an appeal from the lower court clerk within 10 days of your trial.

An appeal can be withdrawn within 10 days of your original court trial. However, the punishments you were given in GDC/JDR will become effective again immediately.

Virginia Circuit Court Traffic Ticket Jury Trials and Court Costs

In Circuit Court you have the right to a jury trial. You cannot have a jury trial in General District Court or Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Court costs in Circuit Court are much higher (usually an additional $150). Also, if you ask for a jury trial in Circuit Court, you must pay for the jury. That costs approximately $500 a day. Court costs and jury costs are only required if you are found guilty (even if you are found guilty of a lesser offence).

Talk to a Virginia Traffic Attorney if You Want an Appeal

If you have gone to trial by yourself and you are not happy with the outcome of your case, contact a local traffic attorney for a free consultation to discuss what the likely outcome of an appeal would be.