Facing a Criminal Charge at the DC Superior Court? Here’s What You Need to Know
You may be ordered to appear at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, felony, or serious traffic offense in the area. Learn more here.
Understanding the DC Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure
There are two local District of Columbia courts: the DC Court of Appeals and the Superior Court. When accused of violating local law, a person may be ordered to appear at the D.C. Superior Court. The District of Columbia Superior Court is a trial court that can hear matters on crimes ranging from homicides to common traffic violations.
The D.C. Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure dictates the process of prosecuting individuals charged in the District of Columbia Court for different offenses. In protecting the rights of individuals, the District of Columbia Superior Court must ensure that suspects are prosecuted according to these laws, rules, and procedures.
Some of the provisions of the rules on criminal procedure in the District of Columbia Superior Court include:
- The proper arraignment of the offender in open court.
- Serving the offender with a copy of the indictment or information.
- Reading the information to the understanding of the defendant.
- Allowing the defendant to plead to the information.
While facing criminal prosecution, it’s difficult to know what to do or what to expect from the D.C. Superior Court. No matter what type of crime you’ve been charged with, it’s wise to hire an experienced lawyer who can provide vital resources and guide you through the process.
Note: Individuals charged with a crime in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia have the right to waive their appearance before the court. This means that a defendant need not be present during the arraignment.
For individuals to waive their appearance before the court, they must sign a written waiver with their lawyers confirming the receipt of the information and their plea.
Superior Court Case Search Form: How to Find Court Cases
The District of Columbia courts have a case search form system. Accessible online, this case search form contains information on matters handled by the court.
To access and view information on any case in DC, you need to have some basic information like the case number and the names of the parties.
How to Use the Superior Court Docket
The Superior Court docket is a database that contains the necessary information about the cases being handled by the court. The docket is used by the Superior Court to schedule activities for matters to avoid conflicts in proceedings.
Anyone looking for information about a case in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia can search for and obtain such information contained in the case file.
The District of Columbia Superior Court has docket entries for every criminal and civil matter which can be viewed on the (eAccess) online system. If you have a case, you can access the D.C. Superior Court docket to get the information you need. You can also contact attorney Christopher J. Mutimer of Scrofano Law today to assist you in retrieving and interpreting information from the D.C. Superior Court docket.
What Is the Difference Between District Cases and D.C. Superior Court Cases?
A good number of people have questions concerning the District of Columbia Superior Court cases. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “what is the difference between district cases and D.C. Superior Court cases?” Let’s explain both terms.
District cases are criminal and civil cases that originate in D.C. but fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. D.C. Superior Court cases are those falling outside federal jurisdiction involving criminal, civil, and small claims cases. The main goal of the D.C. Superior Court is the promotion of public safety and protection of the rights of victims of crime, such as domestic violence (including child abuse), sex crimes, and more.
Are the Superior Court Judges Federal Judges?
Many people facing criminal charges in D.C. wonder if D.C. Superior Court judges are federal judges. And they ask these questions so that they can get a better understanding of the judiciary.
It is important to know that the District of Columbia Court system is different from the standard system in U.S. states. Unlike the state court systems, DC does not operate the two tiers of the appellate court’s system.
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia is headed by a chief judge and 61 other associate judges who help in running the court. The chief judge is appointed for a tenure of 15 years.
Duties of the Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court
An associate judge plays the following roles among other tasks:
- Reviews the orders or judgments of magistrate judges
- Modifies the orders or judgments of magistrate judges
- Reverses the orders or judgments of magistrate judges
- Affirms the orders or judgments of magistrate judges
- Or makes any orders on such other terms as may be necessary
Duties of the Chief Judge of the D.C. Superior Court
The chief judge is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Nomination Commission. The chief judge acts as the administrative head of the Superior Court and wields a big influence on the careers of associate judges.
Listed below are the functions of the chief judge as provided in the rules:
- The office of the chief judge of the District of Columbia administers and oversees the business of the D.C. Superior Court.
- The chief judge of the District of Columbia attends to the discharge of the functions related to the office.
- The chief judge also performs such additional judicial work linked to the office.
- Also, the chief judge of the District of Columbia is responsible for organizing and dividing the business of the D.C. Superior Court.
- Lastly, the chief judge fixes the time of sessions of the family court and the various divisions and branches of the court.
Although federal prosecutors try offenders in the D.C Superior Court, it is not a federal court. Therefore, the District of Columbia Superior Court’s judges are not federal judges and therefore will not base their opinions on federal law and statute.
While states have various courts like the circuit court, city court, and justice court, all non-federal criminal matters in D.C. are filed in the D.C. Superior Court. If you’ve been accused of violating the law in this jurisdiction, please contact our attorneys immediately for a free consultation. From the very first phone call, we’ll provide superior service to meet your needs and get the results you desire.
How to Find the Superior Court of the District of Columbia: Address, Email, and Website
It is important to know the official District of Columbia Superior Court address and website to get the correct information. The physical address is as follows:
500 Indiana Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
You can get more information at the URL of their official site by clicking here.
It is important to know how to search for any matter you have in court. The District of Columbia Superior Court has warned the public to be wary of scammers who use its name to scam people. If you’re concerned about this, hiring an attorney to communicate with the court on your behalf is usually a safer option.
The Different Types of D.C. Superior Court Forms
Individuals charged at the District of Columbia Superior Court are required to complete and file copies of the required D.C. Superior Court forms. For example in divorce proceedings, the family court center can give you information on the proper forms to file.
New cases are initiated by accessing, filling, and filing the appropriate forms at the District of Columbia Superior Court. Information on how to access the required forms can be retrieved from the D.C. Superior Court website or your attorney.
When Facing the District of Columbia Superior Court, You Need an Attorney Who Gets Results
Facing a criminal charge in the District of Columbia court is a serious matter. You need the expert advice and services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands the judiciary and its units and can protect your rights from start to finish.
If you are involved in a DUI offense, you will be charged and arraigned at the Traffic Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court. There will also be an administrative hearing at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Individuals charged with DUI, face penalties ranging from fines, jail time, community service, and the suspension of their licenses.
You need the right legal advice and services when facing a criminal matter in DC. If you have questions or want more information on any issue regarding your rights or a case pending in a District of Columbia Superior Court, get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.