If you’re facing possible jail in Virginia, the judge has the authority to confine you to jail but order you to report directly to the jail some time after you’re actually found guilty of the offense. This is called delayed reporting.
Virginia law lets you appeal your case within ten days of being found guilty, and you can withdraw your appeal within that same ten days without any repercussions. Because of that process, the judges in Virginia, at least around Fredericksburg, are typically very reasonable with official delayed reporting. They know that if they don’t authorize delayed reporting for a few days after court that we can just appeal the case, which creates more paperwork for the clerk’s office. This is why delayed reporting is fairly routine, at least to delay your jail a few days.
The normal reason we get delayed reporting is because you don’t know for sure a lot of times how much jail you might be getting on your court date. It’s hard to get things arranged with work or childcare if you don’t know the exact amount of days that you’ll need to serve. Delayed reporting lets you go to court, get sentenced to whatever jail you’re going to have to serve, and then you can go home and arrange your work and childcare.
If you get delayed reporting, the judge is going to tell you to report directly to the Rappahannock Regional Jail on a certain date before a certain time. There’s many important requirements to fill, but the main ones are that you cannot be late no matter what. If you are late, even by one minute, any suspended sentence could become active by default.
You also cannot show up with any alcohol or non-prescription drugs in your system for delayed reporting. Or else any suspended sentence could become active. Typically, the clerk’s office will tell you to bring your delayed reporting order with you when you go into jail so the jail knows exactly who you are and what you’re there for.
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