Fairfax County Traffic Court

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Fairfax County Traffic Court Navigation:

on this page:

Directions, Maps, Phone Numbers, and Hours
UPDATE: Cell Phone Policy  
Go to the Correct Fairfax County Traffic Court [Herndon, Vienna, City of Fairfax]
Holiday ScheduleFairfax County General District Court
Do Not Get Lost: [INSIDE] Fairfax County Traffic Court  
Continuance Policy of Fairfax County Traffic Court
Interactions with Court Staff
Court Appointed Lawyers

Interpreters and Sign Language
Is the Fairfax County Traffic Court Closed Due to Weather?
Prepayment of Fines: Pros, and Cons
What if You Fail to Pay a Fine?

Virginia DMV Points (will open in new tab)
Fairfax County Traffic Court Case Information
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Fairfax County Government and
Fairfax County General District Court
Weather-Related Closures and Updates

Old Updates:

Monday, March 3, 2014

  • COURT STATUS: closed
  • FCPS SCHOOLS: closed.

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  • Reckless Driving Charge? Click Here
  • DWI Charge?Click to Learn Penalties
  • Marijuana Related?Read the License Consequences
  • DWI PenaltiesView the Chart
  • Driving while Revokedand Driving on Suspended...Read More

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Fairfax Criminal Attorney and Traffic Firm

Vincenzes Law, PLLC, presents a page dedicated to the Fairfax County General District Court

We are a criminal and traffic defense law firm serving all of Northern Virginia. Our office location is in Fairfax County, about two miles from the General District Court. This page is full of helpful information related to the Fairfax County General District Court, including the Fairfax County Traffic Court.

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Fairfax County Traffic Court Information

Brought to you by the team at Vincenzes Law, PLLC, and Fairfax Traffic Lawyer, Brenton D. Vincenzes

More than 1 million people live in Fairfax County, Virginia. Since it is the most populated county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it should come as no surprise that the Fairfax County Traffic Court (aka, the first floor of the Fairfax County General District Court) bustles with activity each and every business day. If you have an upcoming case in Fairfax County for a traffic violation, DWI (or DUI), Fairfax reckless driving, or other offense for which you either need–or would like–to appear for, then perhaps you are looking for information, experiences, suggestions, directions, or possibly a Fairfax traffic lawyer and criminal lawyer. The information on this page has been put together by a local Fairfax criminal defense lawyer and Fairfax traffic lawyer for your convenience and reference. We help people of all ages and backgrounds, and whether or not you reside in Virginia or Fairfax County.

Tip! To access this information via “app format,” visit us using a smartphone at our easy-to-remember URL: www.FairfaxCountyCriminalDefense.com. A banner will appear on the bottom of your screen allowing you to bookmark the site to your phone’s “favorites” or “bookmarks.” That way, if you are away from your PC or Mac, you can easily find this important information on-the-go.

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Fairfax County Traffic Court
Case Information Website

Some jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia provide information to the public via the General District Court Case Information site. This useful tool is a searchable database to help you find your case’s date, courtroom, type of hearing, court time, and more.

Regarding other information also available, you can find the local ordinance or Virginia Code section an individual has been charged under, the date of arrest/offense, the officer involved, the defense lawyer involved (if any), and more.

The Fairfax County General District Court Case Information tool is also helpful to search past offenses, because sometimes a current pending offense will be treated differently if the charged individual has a prior record.  Much of the time, such offenses are serious (e.g., DWI – DUI), and could even result in stiffer sentencing or a felony instead of a misdemeanor. If you are facing a charge to be heard in a courtroom on the first floor in Fairfax County Traffic Court, it does not necessarily mean it is not a criminal charge. Typically, a Fairfax DUI or Fairfax reckless driving charge (both are criminal) will be scheduled to be heard in a courtroom on the first floor, but there are other criminal offenses similarly scheduled to be heard on the first floor.

If you are looking for a Fairfax criminal lawyer or Fairfax traffic attorney with an office location in Fairfax and close to the court, contact our friendly Fairfax traffic lawyer, Fairfax reckless lawyer, Fairfax DUI attorney, and Virginia criminal defense firm for a free consultation. We can also direct you to a trusted local Fairfax bail bondsman, should you or a loved one need such a service.

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 General District Court

Here you will find Fairfax County General District Court information, including: parking, directions, court operating schedule, phone numbers, hours, policies, frequently asked questions, and more. Our Fairfax traffic lawyer loves to help people, whether or not they hire the Vincenzes Law legal team.

What is the General District Court?
Is it the same as the Fairfax County Traffic Court?

Each city and county in the Commonwealth of Virginia has a general district court. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, traffic infraction, or felony…or if a city police officer (as opposed to a Fairfax County officer) cited you for an alleged violation of an ordinance, then you will need to know particular information about the Fairfax County General District Court system. In Fairfax County General District Court, three different divisions exist: traffic, criminal, and civil (and small claims).

Fairfax County General District Court Traffic Cases Division

For traffic infractions, the general district court has jurisdiction; in Fairfax County, the Fairfax County traffic courts are located on the first floor. In some cases, you may need to go to a city court (discussed later). Additionally, you will find the Traffic Services office on the first floor, which may very well be a place you will need to go. You may need to visit the traffic services office if you need to pay a fine, file a motion, or inquire about other services.

Fairfax County General District Court Criminal Cases Division

For misdemeanor criminal charges, the preliminary hearing and trial take place in Fairfax County General District court (unless the case is appealed, in which case it will be heard in the circuit court), or if a local ordinance is at issue, it may be heard in a city court. The information with regards to city courts are found further down on this page.

Tip! For criminal misdemeanors, the preliminary hearing and trial typically take place on the same day.

For felony criminal charges, the preliminary hearing will take place in the Fairfax County General District Court, but a trial (if there is one), will occur in Circuit Court. In Fairfax County, the general district and circuit courts are in the same building.

Additionally, civil cases are heard in Fairfax County General District Court if the amount in controversy, or claim amount, is equal to, or less than $4,500. Civil are heard in general district court if the claim is $4,500 to $25,000, but such cases may also be heard in the circuit court (also in the same building, but on a different floor).

What is a civil case? Civil cases are non-criminal, and non-traffic related. They may include matters related to disputes between landlord and tenant, contracts, and personal injury.

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Getting to the Fairfax County Traffic Court:
Hours, Directions, Maps, Numbers, & Parking

If you are faced with a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor offense, then chances are high that your case will be heard at 9:30 am. If you have a Fairfax traffic lawyer to represent you, he or she may want to meet with you near the chairs located just outside of the courtrooms, prior to 9:30 am. Always check your Summons; if you lost your Summons, call the court or check online. If you miss a court date, then depending on the charge, a warrant for your arrest could be issued. Do not take chances; a “failure to appear” is a criminal charge of its own, and a violation can land a person in jail for ten days. The court’s website and contact information can be found on this page or the Fairfax County General District Court Case Information System. Sometimes, a charge may be prepaid and a court appearance is not necessary. We discuss how to find out (if you are unsure), further down on this page. You can use the quick navigation links at the top of this page to go directly to that section.

  • If you need to visit court services in-person, either before your case or after, you may do so as early as 8:00 am, and as late as 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • If you simply need to call the court: the phone lines have live operators between 8:00 am and 3:15 pm, Monday through Friday.

Our Fairfax traffic lawyer suggests arriving at least 30 minutes before the office closes, because there may be a waiting period. The same applies if making a call, because there is often a waiting period on the phone, too. If going to court in-person, you need to factor in the time it will take to park, pay for parking, walk from the parking garage to the court entrance, go through the security checkpoint, and walk to the office or courtroom. You should plan on it taking at least 20 minutes to walk from the parking garage to the courthouse, and another 30 minutes (at minimum) to go through security, the metal detectors, and to locate your courtroom. When you need to visit a court services office, normally the wait-time is not anywhere close to the average wait-time at a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) location. It may be helpful to know that the Fairfax County Traffic Court Services office uses a ticket system similar to the DMV, if you are familiar with it.

In our Fairfax traffic lawyer‘s dealings with court services and traffic services in Fairfax County General District Court, we have found the clerks and other employees to be polite, friendly, and happy to help answer any questions you may have (but not legal questions). The security guards and deputies are also typically very nice and helpful. And while this should go without saying, if you treat court staff with respect, they will treat you with respect. Showing up for a court hearing in unprofessional attire or with a bad attitude will only make your experience worse.

Tip! If you have a case for which you are appearing before a judge, our Fairfax traffic attorney and Virginia criminal lawyer suggests dressing as if you are going to an important job interview. Men should wear a suit if they have one; women should dress conservatively. If you do not have a suit because you cannot afford one, you may want to borrow one from a friend (a suit, however, is not strictly required).

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Can I Contact the Fairfax County Traffic Court by Phone?

If you need to reach the offices of the Fairfax County General District Court, you can find much information using the following automated information lines for the respective divisions:

  • Fairfax Traffic Court Division: dial 703.246.3764703.246.3764
  • Fairfax Criminal Division: dial 703.246.3305703.246.3305
  • Fairfax Civil Division: dial 703.691.7320703.691.7320, and then press 4, followed by 1
  • Small Claims: dial 703.246.3012703.246.3012
  • Court Services: dial 703.246.7530703.246.7530

Where is the Fairfax County General District Court Located?

Historic Fairfax County CourthouseFairfax County Court - Historic

Some people who are new to the area, or who may be unfamiliar with the Fairfax County Traffic Court do vaguely recall driving past the old historic courthouse just off of Main Street, in the City of Fairfax (pictured, right).

Modern Fairfax County General District Court

But note: the historic courthouse is not where adult traffic or criminal cases are heard these days. The current location of The Fairfax County General District Court and Fairfax County Traffic Court is:

4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Fairfax County Traffic Court

The Fairfax County General District Court provides this  .PDF format map of the general location, court, and public safety center. It may be very useful.

View Larger Map

If you do not have a GPS system to guide you to the Fairfax County General District Court and/or Fairfax County Traffic Court, then you may wish to note that the location is south of the Chain Bridge Road (Rt. 123) and Main Street/Little River Turnpike (Rt. 236) intersection.

If you are taking I-66, you may need to take the Chain Bridge Road/Rt. 123 exit, and then cross over Rt. 50, and into Fairfax. We have highlighted this particular route in light blue in the map below, courtesy of Google Maps. Once you have made it into Fairfax and have crossed over Main Street, the court entrance will be on your right (but if you are coming from the opposite direction, for example, if you are traveling to Fairfax from Woodbridge, Lorton, and other areas via Rt. 123, it could be on your left).

Directions from 66 to Fairfax County General District Court

What if I Still Need Help Finding the Fairfax County Traffic Court or General District Court?

If you are unsure after reading this page and you have visited the Fairfax County General District Court’s website but still have questions, then our welcoming Fairfax traffic lawyer and traffic defense firm may be able to assist you with directions, as we are happy to help residents of Virginia as well as non-residents with a case in Fairfax County, if we are able.

What Should I Know About Parking at Fairfax County General District Court?

Availability of parking space is not usually an issue, as there is a very large parking garage. However, do remember to bring funds. There is a public parking garage: garage “B,” that is on Page Avenue, between West Street and Judicial Drive.

Special Permit Parking Near Massey BuildingMassey Building Near Fairfax County Traffic Court

If you have a DMV permit or license plate, you may be allowed to park in a specific area in front of the “Massey Building.” Garage “A” also provides more parking space behind the Massey Building, however, you will have to request access from a security guard.

Main Public Parking Garage Hours

The parking garage is open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm (Monday-Friday). If you need to speak to someone, you will need to visit the pay station on the ground floor of the garage. Finally, if you are a juror, then the Fairfax County General District Court requests you to please still visit the attendant, even if your parking stub has been authorized.

What does it cost to park?

Parking fees are not exorbitantly high. The fee is capped per day (garage “B”), at $10. However, you will probably end up paying a little less, as the hourly rate is $2.00 per hour as of this page’s publishing date. According to the Fairfax County General District Court Information page, the County asks you to take your ticket with you (which you should receive when you park—do not worry, we are not referring to a “parking citation ticket!”) to the kiosk at the parking lobby before you return to your automobile. The kiosk is inside the garage, also referred to as, “pay station.”

If you forget to bring cash, do not panic. You will find a conveniently located Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) on the first floor. You can use a debit or credit card on the ground or fourth floor of the large parking garage.

May I Bring My Cell Phone to Fairfax County Traffic Court?

In years past, non-employees and non-attorneys were not allowed to bring cellphones with cameras inside the Fairfax County Traffic Court (nor the entire Fairfax County General District Court). Of course, since almost every modern cell phone has a camera, people were generally required to leave their phones with security personnel or inside their vehicle. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer and Fairfax traffic attorney, I noticed this year that things have changed.  Important: do not rely on my own experiences, because as of the date of this page’s publication, the General District Court website still says this:

“Cell phones that have cameras (or look like they have cameras) must be left at the security check point and

UPDATE: November, 2013

As of early November, I confirmed with staff at the Fairfax County General District court, and the website now reflects the cell-phone policy.

Yes, cell phones are allowed. Just make sure they are turned off.

For more, visit the Fairfax County General District official website.

Many jurisdictions do not allow cell phones or camera phones. Prince William County criminal lawyers (and all lawyers serving clients who will appear before that court) best serve the client when even subtle policies are discussed and planned for. Court cell phone policy is merely one of the many local court rules which may be different in one city to the next.

Tip! Make sure you silence your phone, because if it rings while court is in session or makes any sound whatsoever, you could be taken straight to the jail for “Contempt of Court.” You do not want to go to jail for 10 days because you forgot to set your phone to “silent.” Our Fairfax traffic lawyer has never personally seen this happen, but he has witnessed a close call on more than one occasion. You do not want this to happen, even if the judge has mercy and does not find you in contempt. Imagine having your case called, when just five minutes prior, the judge sternly warned you about your lack of respect for his court. That would not be good.

What if I need to go to a City or Town Court?

The Fairfax County General District Court hears some cases in courtrooms not located at the main address at 4110 Chain Bridge Road. Your case may be in a separate court location in the City of Fairfax, Town of Herndon, or Town of Vienna. Some traffic and criminal misdemeanors, as well as traffic infractions are heard at these locations. What types of cases are not heard? No felony criminal cases or civil cases.

How Do I know the Correct Court?

If your case involves a felony or misdemeanor under the Code of Virginia (as opposed to a local ordinance), then you should plan on traveling to the Fairfax County General District Court location at 4110 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. But if your case involves solely a local ordinance violation, check any paperwork the officer provided you with.

Locations and Contact Information: City Courts in Fairfax, Herndon, and Vienna

If you are required—or need/want– to go to a courthouse that serves the City of Fairfax, Town of Herndon, or Town of Vienna (as opposed to the Fairfax County General District Court), then please take note of the following respective addresses:

  • City of Fairfax: 10455 Armstrong Street, Room 1, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
  • Town of Herndon: 765 Lynn Street, Herndon, Virginia 22070
  • Town of Vienna: 127 Center Street, S., Vienna, Virginia 22180

Contact Information

City of Fairfax:

Case Information Line: 703.385.7866703.385.7866

Court Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday

Town of Herndon

More on Defending a Case in Herndon

Criminal Case Information Line: 703.246.3305703.246.3305

Traffic Case Information Line: 703.246.3764703.246.3764

Court Hours: Wednesdays only, 9:30 am

Town of Vienna

Criminal Case Information Line: 703.246.3305703.246.3305

Traffic Case Information Line: 703.246.3764703.246.3764

Court Hours: Mondays only, 9:30 am

When is the Fairfax County Traffic Court and General District Court Closed?

The Fairfax County General District Court is open on business days, Monday through Friday. The courts are closed on holidays, as follows for the year, 2013:

  • Lee/Jackson Day (January 18th)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 21st)
  • George Washington Day (February 18th)
  • Memorial Day (May 27th)
  • Independence Day (July 4th, and also, July 5th)
  • Labor Day (September 2nd)
  • Columbus Day (October 14th)
  • Veterans Day (November 11th)
  • November 27th – closes at noon
  • Thanksgiving Holiday (November 28th and 29th)
  • Christmas Holiday (December 24th, 25th, and 26th)
  • New Year Holiday (December 31st and January 1st, 2014)

For court operation date information for 2014 and beyond, you may either ask our Fairfax criminal defense law firm, or check the Fairfax County General District Court website for more details.

Fairfax County Traffic Court and General District Court Case Information: In the Courthouse

Fairfax County General District Court is unlike some other jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, in that inside the courthouse in Fairfax County, there are numerous flat-panel screens intended to display case information. They can be found near various courtrooms and in some corridors and halls (some other jurisdictions in Virginia provide this information inside their courthouses, but in a non-electronic format). The courtrooms and times cases are to be heard are listed alphabetically (by last name). Our Fairfax traffic lawyer can help you understand the charges you face if you are not sure where to go, whether or not finding a lawyer would be wise, and other tips to make your day in court go as smoothly as possible. Knowledge is power.

Which Courtroom(s) in Fairfax County Traffic Court are Cases Heard?

For traffic cases, the following courtrooms and times are typical in Fairfax County:

  • Bond Motions: 2G at 8:30 am
  • The Regular Traffic Docket/Courtrooms: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, and 2H, at 9:30 am.
  • Sentencing and Non-Compliance Docket: various courtrooms, at 2:00 pm, and only on the first and fourth Thursday each month.

Court Policies Related to Continuances in Fairfax County Traffic Court

A continuance is a change of court date (“continued” to a date in the future). The term used to refer to a court date moved to an earlier date is, “Advancement.”

Tip! A continuance is generally easier to obtain than an advancement.

Traffic Infraction Continuances

Traffic infractions (non-criminal) can be continued, but the procedure depends upon whether it is a first or subsequent request. Call or visit a clerk, or call the automated phone line system (dial 703.246.3764703.246.3764) if it is the first time you wish for a continuance. For a second continuance, a judge will need to approve of the request.

Traffic Misdemeanor Continuances in Fairfax County Traffic Court

For traffic misdemeanors (such as a Fairfax County reckless driving charge), a judge must approve or, you can file a motion. If you are not sure how to make a “motion,” then we encourage you to speak with a Fairfax traffic lawyer to assist you with the case. Misdemeanors (even traffic-related) are criminal in nature and will stay on an adult’s criminal record for life (unless it is expunged, however, expungement requires later actions to be taken after a court date).

Furthermore, expungement is typically not available if you are found guilty or plead guilty in any way. And finally, you should note that if charged with the fairly common traffic-related misdemeanor, “reckless driving” in Fairfax County, it is considered the most serious class of misdemeanor; a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Virginia Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum sentence in Virginia of a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months jail time.

Fairfax DWI / Fairfax DUI Continuances: Explained by Fairfax DUI Lawyer

First, you should know that the term, “DUI,” is not technically correct in Virginia. Virginia uses the term, “DWI.” We use “DUI” on our website, because so many people use it as common-speak. If charged, it may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon many different factors (e.g., offense number, BAC level, and others). We strongly urge any person charged to speak to our Fairfax DUI lawyer (or, Fairfax DWI lawyer) as soon as possible after the charge. You may have to go to what is commonly referred to as, “Fairfax County Traffic Court,” (really, the Fairfax County General District Court), for a preliminary hearing. You may also have to go to the Circuit Court.

DWI continuances must be signed by a Commonwealth Attorney (prosecutor). The Commonwealth Attorney will either note that the continuance request is “agreed,” or “objected to.” If there is an objection to your DWI continuance, then there should be a reason why the objection has been made.

The continuance should be submitted to the Clerk’s Office (Traffic) no later than 3:00 pm and no later than two business days before your court date. After filing with the clerk, an “objected to” continuance request will be sent to a judge, and he or she will review the request the next business morning.

If you choose to file a continuance request for your DWI and it is objected to by the Commonwealth Attorney, then it is possible a judge will deny your request. If this happens, it does not necessarily mean obtaining a continuance for your DWI/DUI case will be impossible: you can always reach out to a Fairfax DUI attorney and Fairfax traffic lawyer to file a motion with the court, and he or she will then communicate with the court and/or Commonwealth Attorney’s office on your behalf to try to secure your continuance.

Legal Questions about Your Case in Fairfax County

If you have a legal question, then court employees will politely tell you that they cannot assist you in that way. They will, however, answer procedural and general questions to the best of their ability. The reason why a court employee and/or clerk cannot give you legal advice is because non-lawyers are prohibited from doing so. Sometimes, it may not be 100% clear to you or the employee whether or not the question is actually a legal question. In such a situation, the best idea is to talk to an attorney. Our Fairfax traffic lawyer can help you find an attorney if charged in Fairfax County, so please do not hesitate to give us a call toll-free at, 888.695.6565888.695.6565 or, contact us online.

If you believe you cannot afford an attorney, then you can ask the court to appoint a lawyer. This is only possible if your case involves potential jail time (loss of liberty). To be eligible, you will need to meet specific financial requirements.

Am I Eligible for Court Appointed Lawyer in Fairfax County Traffic or Criminal Court?

Court appointed attorneys are only available if your charge is punishable by a jail sentence, you meet specific guidelines, and a judge does not deny the request. Lying about financial resources is a serious offense; please do not do this. If you are charged with an offense deemed a Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor, then the judge will inform you of your right to counsel, and also ask you if you intend to hire a private attorney. If not, the judge will ask if you wish to be interviewed for eligibility for a court appointed counsel. If you do meet the financial guidelines, then you will either be assigned a public defender or a private lawyer who has qualified to represent indigent clients by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, and who has been approved after certain training by the Fairfax Bar Association.

Anything else I need to know about a court appointed counsel?

You will be interviewed in room 203 to determine whether or not you are eligible, based on your financial resources. After your interview, the judge will call your name again and if you were approved by Court Services, then the judge will typically grant the request. If you do not qualify based on the interview with Court Services in room 203, then you may still hire an attorney on your own. Alternatively, you will have to sign a waiver to proceed without representation. When faced with a traffic infraction, you may consider hiring a Fairfax traffic lawyer. Sometimes, even the police make mistakes. And in other traffic cases, if the driver is very concerned about the long-term financial implications. Of course, in many cases the traffic-related charge is not an infraction, but a criminal charge arising from a traffic infraction or traffic stop (DWI, reckless driving, driving when privileges do not exist, etc).

Time Requirement if Prior to Court Date

If your court date is ten or more business days away, then you can request an interview in room 203 to see if you qualify for a court appointed attorney. Taking this measure will allow the attorney appointed to your case more time in some instances, which will only serve to help your cause. To request a court appointed attorney before court, you must visit Court Services in person between 9:00 am and 11:00 am.

Fairfax County Traffic Court Interpreters at General District Court

If you believe you need an interpreter for a fair hearing, then you will be happy to find out that the Fairfax County General District Court provides interpreters at no-cost. Sign-language interpreters are also available, free of charge. Availability depends on the language: Spanish (Español) interpreters are available every day in Fairfax County Traffic Court. Korean and Vietnamese interpreters are available each day, but only for traffic and criminal cases on the 9:30 am docket. If you need an interpreter who speaks a different language, then you should call Court Services or the Clerk’s Office for your particular type of case, via the following numbers:

  • Traffic Division Line: 703.246.3764703.246.3764
  • Criminal Division Line: 703.246.3305703.246.3305
  • Main Court Services Line: 703.246.7530703.246.7530

It is Snowing: Does the Fairfax County Traffic Court Ever Close?

Do not count on the court closing due to weather. If weather is severe, then you should listen to the radio or turn on your television and listen/view a local station or channel to find out if there has been an announcement that the Fairfax County General District Court is closed. If you do not have access to radio or television, call the GDC Announcement Line: 703.246.2377703.246.2377.

Prepaying a Traffic Ticket

Some Virginia traffic tickets and criminal violations can be prepaid before your court date. Most criminal offenses cannot be prepaid. If you are unsure, do not wait until your court date is just around the corner to find out. If you are permitted to prepay and you do so, then you do not have to go to court.

You can find out if your charge can be prepaid in Fairfax County General District Court by viewing this list of prepayable offenses.

Depending on the severity of the charge, your unique facts, and other concerns, you may be wise to talk to a Fairfax traffic lawyer. But waiting too long to find an attorney will make matters more difficult (to the degree that it could be hard to find a lawyer on very short notice, and even if you are able to find an attorney on short notice, the more time your lawyer has to get ready for your case, the better).

Are there downsides to prepaying my offense?

Yes. If you do not go to court, you do not have the chance to explain any mitigating circumstances, offer a defense, or have the benefit of representation by legal counsel. Thus, if your violation has negative consequences aside from the money it will cost to pay the fine, you will not be able to avoid such repercussions. For example, criminal offenses stay on an adult’s record for life, which can cause employment issues down the road. Additionally, many moving violations will result in “DMV demerit points” on a driver’s DMV record, which can in turn lead to increased insurance costs.

There is another downside if you prepay by credit card. If you prepay with a credit card for your offense, you will have to pay an additional 4% to cover the processing fee.

In Fairfax County reckless driving cases, usually a Commonwealth Attorney is appointed if the case is very serious and/or when there is counsel representing the accused. This is actually helpful, because in a case where it is a driver’s word against an officer’s word, the police officer typically already has some level of established credibility. Furthermore, police do not negotiate with defendants, but the Commonwealth Attorney and a Fairfax traffic lawyer can reach a deal for a client. All too often, our Fairfax traffic lawyer has seen several logical arguments made by non-attorneys fail in court.

Prepayment in Fairfax County Traffic Court: Time Requirements

There are various time requirements, depending on whether you choose to prepay by mail, telephone, internet, or in person. The various payment methods and corresponding deadlines (and other information, if pertinent) are listed below:

Prepayment by mail:

If you choose to pay for your Virginia speeding ticket or other traffic violation by mail, payment must be received by the Fairfax County General District Court five days or more before your scheduled hearing. It is important to include a copy of your Virginia traffic ticket or offense, so the court knows how much you owe. If you pay by mail, send a check, cash, or money order to:

Fairfax County General District Court
ATTN: [Traffic OR Criminal] Division
P.O. Box 10157
Fairfax, VA 22038

If you wish to pay by credit card through the mail, there is a specific form you must use, but you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available here for free.

Prepayment by phone:

If your violation or offense is prepayable, you can prepay by phone at least two days before your scheduled court date. If you wish to pay via phone, then the Fairfax General District Court asks you to please wait a minimum of two weeks after you received the Summons, so the law enforcement official has ample time to notify the court about your ticket or offense. If you call too soon, the court may not have your information and it will only waste your time, as well as the court staff’s.

Who should I call to prepay and avoid Fairfax County traffic court?

Call the Traffic Division line: 703.246.3764703.246.3764 or the Criminal Division line: 703.246.3305703.246.3305, depending on the nature of your case. The court will accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover.

Alternatively, you may wish to call the automated payment line via the “Interactive Voice Response System.” You must call between 6:30 am and 6:00 pm, and only on weekdays. Additionally, you will have to provide your case or summons number.

If you are not sure what your unique number is your information may be available for you to find, by using the General District Court Case Information System.

Prepayment by internet:

If you wish to pay online, you can do so before 3:30 pm on the day before your court date. Just as prepayment by phone, the court in Fairfax County asks you to please wait for two weeks before paying online, as your case information may not be available until the police have had time to provide the court with your data.

Where do you pay online?

Simply visit the main state court site and navigate to the General District Court link under “Case Information.”

You can prepay using either Visa or MasterCard.

Prepayment in person:

If your violation or offense is prepayable, you can prepay by going to the Fairfax County Magistrate’s Office at least two days before your scheduled court date. You may also prepay by going in person to the Clerk’s Office (Fairfax County Courthouse), at least one day before a court date.

The specific location to pay in person depends on the nature of the violation. Is it a traffic or criminal charge? For criminal violations, visit room 204 on the 2nd floor of the Fairfax County General District Court between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. For traffic violations, prepay by visiting the Clerk’s Office in room 106 (1st floor).

If you prepay in person, you must bring a copy of your ticket or summons so the court knows how much you owe.

What If I Do Not Pay my Fine?

If you do not pay a fine, and 30 days have passed from the date of your court hearing when the fine was officially ordered, then your driving privileges will be suspended by DMV. In order to avoid disruptions to your personal and work schedule, make sure you pay your fine(s) within the 30 day period. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, serious consequences may follow. Our Fairfax traffic lawyer can help fight a charge or work to reach a favorable outcome, depending on your facts. We offer free consultations, flat-fees, and diligent representation.

In Virginia, when you are found guilty of a moving traffic violation, the court does not itself assess points to your DMV record. With that said, the court does forward the information to the DMV, which in-turn assesses the points. Therefore, if you have questions about the points on your record, the General District Court is not the place to make an inquiry. Instead, call the DMV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.

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