Criminal Practice in the General District Court (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 09/30/2022


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the September 2019 webcast, Criminal Practice in the General District Court.

Course Outline

  • Get a thorough grounding in criminal practice before the General District Court, including its specialized rules, procedures, and advocacy
  • Learn the legal framework of the District Court, and how it differs from the Circuit Court
  • Understand the opportunities and limitations of this forum
  • Get tips and learn best practices from judges and an experienced lawyer

The criminal jurisdiction of the General District Court extends to trial of all misdemeanor and traffic offenses committed within the county or city in which the court is situated. In addition, the Court holds preliminary hearings in felony cases. Criminal defense lawyers of all types, therefore, have important contacts with this Court.

Because the District Court has limited punishment powers, many attorneys believe they can just “wing it” though the process. That is a mistake! Knowledge of the specialized rules and procedures of the District Court is critical. The nature of the advocacy, too, often differs greatly from that of Circuit Court: the lawyer who doesn’t appreciate the differences may succeed, but won’t necessarily thrive.

This seminar is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in criminal practice before the General District Court. Our faculty of two highly regarded judges, and a lawyer with extensive experience in that forum, will share their insights from both sides of the bench. If you haven’t appeared before the General District Court before, you’ll be ready to do so when we’re done; if you’re already a veteran, you’ll get better. Join us for an informative two hours.


  • Introduction to the General District Court
  • The Legal Framework
    • Applicable statutes
    • Court Rules—differences from Circuit Court
  • What to Expect: Arraignment; Pretrial Matters; Preliminary Hearings; Trial; Through Appeals
  • Best Practices
    • Throughout the process: client intake; motions; negotiations; use of court reporters
    • Avoiding common mistakes

This Virginia CLE® seminar is part of a recurring series on the District Court:

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Hon. Tyneka L.D. Flythe, Newport News General District Court / Newport News
Hon. Rupen R. Shah, Augusta County General District Court / Staunton
Timothy C. Carwile, Allen & Carwile / Waynesboro

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