Arlington Eliminates Pre-Trial Conferences for DUI Cases.

Reversing a seven-year old policy, the Arlington County General District Court has eliminated its Pre-Trial Conference procedure for DUI cases, effective January 1, 2013.  A copy of the policy is here.

There are three important “take aways”:

  • Discovery — Prior to this change, the Arlington prosecutors offered “open file discovery” at the Pre-Trial Conference.  In the past, this was not available.  We don’t yet know if “open file” will continue now that the conferences are ended.
  • Continuances – These will be routinely denied on the day of trial as attorneys are expected to be ready for trial on the first trial date assigned.
  • Long Trials – Trials lasting more than one hour must be set for the 2:00 docket.  Cases on an earlier docket which later appear likely to be longer should be moved two weeks in advance.  (Hint:  If there will be more than a single witness, the trial will usually last longer than an hour).