|Paying Tickets Online|
If you wish to pay your fines from General District Court online you can do so by going to the Virginia Supreme Court Website [http://epwsgdp1.courts.state.va.us/gdcourts2/captchaVerification.do?landing=landing] and following these steps:
1) Enter the captcha*in the text field at the bottom of the screen. (* A captcha is a series of unique letters and numbers that appear near the bottom of the webpage).
2) From the drop down menu, select the court to which you have been summoned to appear. Enter your name as it appears on your summons (last, first) in the text field below the drop down menu. Then click “Search”.
3) Browse through the cases and select the blue case number for each individual charge you would like to view. (All cases with the same or similar names will appear in alphabetical order.)
4) Once you have selected the case number for the case you wish to view, a single page screen will appear and you will be able to view pertinent information about your case.
If you want to pay fines before or after your trial, go to your case file and at the very bottom of the page click “Mark for payment”, wait for the page to refresh, and then click the button “Process Payment”. This will take you to a billing page where you can follow instructions to pay online with a credit or debit card.
If you want to change the court date to a time more than one or two months in the future, be prepared to explain to the judge why you deserve such a continuance.
How many times can I change my court date?
Typically you can continue a case only once, maybe twice, unless you have a compelling reason, so use your continuances sparingly. Unexpected scheduling conflicts frequently arise and you may need a continuance if you encounter a work conflict or an emergency, or if the attorney you want to hire is unavailable on your court date).
Can I choose my court date?
You are only allowed to continue a court case to one of your officer’s pre-assigned traffic court dates. Most officers only have two or three court dates to choose from.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages to changing my court date?
Filing for a continuance can affect the outcome of your case and your attorney’s ability to prepare for trial. In Virginia traffic court, the prosecution is notautomatically required to disclose its evidence against you prior to the trial date. Frequently, defense attorneys are ambushed with new evidence and information minutes before trial. Your attorney may request a continuance in order to prepare a defense against new information. Be careful not to use your continuances for frivolous reasons. Your attorney may need one later.
Getting a continuance can also affect which attorney you are able to hire. If your first choice of attorney has a schedule conflict on the date of your trial, that attorney may get a continuance in order to represent you. However, if you’ve already used all of your continuances this will not be possible.
What if the officer does not show up?
It is unlikely that your officer will not show at court. Virginia’s traffic courts assign each officer only a few days a month to appear in court so if an officer does not show up an entire month’s worth of traffic cases will be lost. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on officers to not miss their assigned court dates.
If an officer does not appear at court because of health, accidents, or some other legitimate excuse, the judge may decide to either dismiss the traffic ticket or to grant the government a continuance. The severity of the ticket, the legitimacy of the excuse, and the number of prior continuances all can affect a judge’s decision to dismiss or continue a traffic case.