General District Court
ALERT: Before you plead guilty to a Richmond, VA reckless driving, speeding ticket or other traffic violation contact Richmond Reckless Driving Lawyer Gregory Hough for a free case evaluation!
NOTICE: This website is for informational purposes only and is not affiliated with any Richmond, Virginia Courthouses. To visit Richmond area courthouses, please use these links:
13th Judicial District of Virginia
Mr Irving C. Wright
Phone: (804) 646-6431, (804) 646-6432
Clerk’s Office Hours
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
John Marshall Courts Building
Richmond Traffic Court Judges
- Hon. Birdie Hairston Jamison, Presiding Judge
- Hon. Robert A. Pustilnik, Chief Judge
- Hon. David Eugene Cheek Sr.
- Hon. Barbara J. Gaden
- Hon. Phillip L. Hairston
- Hon. Gregory L. Rupe
- Hon. Joi Jeter Taylor
Richmond Traffic Court Schedule
Mon. – Fri., 9:00 a.m.
Traffic & Criminal
Mon. – Fri., 9:30 a.m.
Set Cases (Criminal & Traffic)
Mon. – Fri., 11:00 a.m.
Mon. – Fri., 3:00 p.m.
Show Cause Hearings
Tues. & Wed., 2:00 p.m.
Contested Parking Citations & Summonses for
Wed. & Thurs., 2:00 p.m.
Richmond Traffic Court Continuance Policy
Continuances granted by Judge on motion.
Richmond also has a General District Court at the Manchester District Court.
Richmond Traffic Court General District Courts
To Understand Your Visit to Court You Should Know:
It is the courts wish that you know your rights and duties. We want every person who comes here to receive fair treatment in accordance with the ideals of American justice.
By law, the court must apply rules of procedure and evidence to each case it hears. These procedures are applied uniformly, without regard to personal considerations. The judge is sworn to enforce without favor the laws of the Commonwealth and community, which are made by the people for the protection of all.
The general district court does not conduct jury trials. All cases in this court are heard by a judge. Jury trials are held only in circuit court, as provided by the state constitution.
The Code of Virginia defines criminal offenses and sets penalties. For many offenses the penalty prescribed is a fine. Fines collected for violations of city, town, or county ordinances are paid into the treasury of the city, town, or county whose ordinance has been violated. All fines collected for violation of state law are paid to the Virginia Department of the Treasury. The amount of court costs is set by the state legislature, and the court cannot suspend or waive costs. Judges, clerks, and magistrates are salaried with public funds and they collect no individual fees.
Why Are You in Court?
You are appearing in court for one of the following reasons:
- You are a plaintiff because you filed a civil suit
- You are a complainant because you have caused criminal charges to be brought against someone
- You are a defendant because someone is suing you, or you have been charged with a traffic violation or a criminal offense
- You are a witness who has been called to testify.
Your Rights in Richmond Traffic Court
You have the right to retain and be represented by your own lawyer in all matters before the court. However, you may waive representation by counsel and represent yourself.
If you are charged with a crime for which the penalty includes the possibility of a jail sentence, and you state that you are indigent and cannot afford a lawyer, the judge will examine your financial status.
Based on results of the examination, and your financial statement under oath that you cannot afford an attorney, the judge may assign an attorney to represent you. The cost of such attorney will be incorporated into your court costs if you are found guilty. If you are the complainant in a criminal proceeding, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who represents the state, will normally prosecute the case.
You have the right to have the clerk’s office subpoena witnesses to appear on your behalf in court. You may ask for a continuance if you have good cause to have your case put off until a later date, though the judge does not have to grant your request.
Types of General District Richmond Traffic Court Cases
The general district court decides civil suits involving amounts of money up to $15,000. However, unlawful detainer (eviction) suits that include a request for rent for commercial or agricultural property can be heard by the general district court even if the amount of rent requested is more than $15,000. A suit is begun by filing a civil warrant or complaint with the clerk of the court and paying a fee.
Before you plead guilty to criminal charges in Richmond, VA contact Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer Gregory Hough for a free case evaluation!
Richmond Criminal Cases.
The general district court decides cases in which a person is charged with a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is any charge which carries a penalty of no more than one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500 or both.
The general district court holds preliminary hearings in felony cases. A felony is any charge which may be punishable by more than one year in jail. Preliminary hearings in felony cases are held to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the offense in order to justify holding the defendant for a grand jury hearing. The grand jury determines whether the accused will be indicted and held for trial by the circuit court.
Each defendant in a criminal case is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Upon consideration of the evidence, the judge decides the question of guilt or innocence and, on a finding of guilt, determines which penalty, if any, is proper and lawful.
Before you plead guilty to a Richmond, VA reckless driving, speeding ticket or other traffic violation contact Richmond DUI Lawyer Gregory Hough for a free case evaluation!
Richmond Traffic Cases.
The general district court hears cases in which a person is charged with a traffic offense. Most traffic offenses are traffic infractions, which are generally punishable by a fine of not more than $250. Cases involving awards to individuals for damages in connection with traffic violations are civil in nature and would be categorized as such. If you are convicted of certain traffic violations, the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will assess points against your driver’s license. This is an administrative action by DMV and is in addition to any sentence imposed by the judge.
Procedure in Criminal and Traffic Cases
If you are a defendant: When your name is called, come forward with your lawyer, if you have one, and witnesses and stand before the bench. The charge will be read. If you do not understand the charge, ask the judge to repeat or explain. If you are asking for a continuance (postponement), do so now, and give your reason. You answer the charge by saying “guilty” or “not guilty.” If in doubt, you should plead “not guilty.” When you plead “guilty,” you admit that you broke the law as you were charged, and are agreeing to accept any penalty set by law and imposed.
If your plea is guilty: The judge may hear a brief statement from the officer, prosecutor or individual who brought the charge against you. Then the judge may ask you if you wish to make a statement. You may then say whatever you wish about what happened. The judge will find you guilty or not guilty and may sentence you.
If your plea is not guilty: The witnesses who bring evidence against you will be heard first. You or your attorney may cross-examine each witness. When you are accused of a criminal charge, you may present witnesses on your behalf, but you do not have to testify yourself unless you wish to do so. After your evidence is presented, witnesses against you may present testimony again in rebuttal.
The judge will then give his decision.
If the judge finds you NOT guilty, dismisses the case against you, or grants a motion not to prosecute, you are free to go.
If the judge finds you guilty, you must satisfy the sentence by:
- Paying in full to the clerk of the court any fines and court costs.
- Surrendering your driver’s license to the clerk if so ordered by the judge.
- Serving any time in jail imposed by the judge.
- Complying with an alternative sentence as ordered by the judge.
Failure to Appear
In criminal and certain traffic cases, if you fail to pre-pay the fine and costs (when allowed) and also fail to appear in court, a separate warrant may be issued against you on a new charge of failure to appear. You then will have to stand trial on that charge, as well as the original charge.
Appeals to the Circuit Court
If you wish to appeal your case to the circuit court, you must file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the general district court within ten days of the judgment or conviction by the general district court.
In criminal and traffic cases, regardless of the plea and sentence, you may appeal to the circuit court. You will get a jury trial unless affirmatively waived in the circuit court.
Civil cases involving amounts of more than $50 may be appealed to the circuit court, where you may ask for a jury trial. If you do not ask for a jury trial, the appeal will be heard by a circuit court judge. See the clerk of the general district court about cost and bond requirements.
If you wish to hire your own attorney or obtain legal advice you can contact: Richmond Reckless Driving Attorney – The Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. – 804.864.9424
Court employees will try to assist you, but they are not employed as attorneys and cannot give legal advice.
John Marshall Courts Building 400 N. 9th Street Room 209 Richmond, VA 23219-1508
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