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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Where Are Philadelphia DUI Cases and Hearings Heard?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Philadelphia the following is what you should know about where DUI cases take place. For more specific information contact a DUI lawyer in Philadelphia today.

Where Are DUI Cases Typically Heard in Philadelphia?

DUI cases begin on the municipal court level that is they begin on a level of court before a judge and not a jury. Once the matter is heard at that level, a person has a right to take an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas or the higher court where they could obtain a trial by jury or again choose to be tried by a higher level judge.

All DUI cases start in the same fashion. There is an arrest, an arraignment, and after such there’s a pre-trial date where all police materials are turned over. Only after this pre-trial date is a case assigned to a specific DUI room where the case is heard at the initial level and all appeals should they be necessary are then taken to the higher court levels which are also handled right here in Philadelphia.

Is There More Than One Court House Where DUI Proceedings Take Place?

In Philadelphia, there’s only one courthouse that handles DUI proceedings and that is the Criminal Justice Center, known also as the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center located at 1301 Filbert St. Each surrounding county in Philadelphia has its own district courts and main county courthouse where their DUIs are handled.

How is it Decided Where DUI Case is Heard?

Where a DUI case is heard is determined upon what location a DUI arrest is made. If a DUI arrest is made within the city in county line of Philadelphia, the matter will be heard at the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center located at 1301 Filbert St.

In the surrounding counties, it is within the township where the stop is made that the initial preliminary hearing is heard before a district justice. On a later date, it’s then heard in the county courthouse for which the district justice is located and it will be before a Court of Common Pleas Judge.

Where Are Driver’s License Proceedings Heard?

In Philadelphia, all driver’s license hearings are heard first at the Philadelphia Traffic Court located on Spring Garden Avenue. In addition to that, all appeals are taken before a board located at the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center at 1301 Filbert Street. In the surrounding counties, all traffic violations begin in the local township for which they were cited. An appeal can be taken to the county courthouse, but it’s much less common.

What Should Someone Expect From An Administrative Hearing Process?

Okay. In Philadelphia, the administrative hearing process is also dealt with both Philadelphia Traffic Court and the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center. The administrative offices are linked directly to Penn DOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

So, between the two courthouses and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation all matters involving administrative hearings for traffic citations and/or driving under the influence are handled.

In the surrounding counties, the district courts in the local townships handle the majority of administrative matters, only the appeal matters are handled at the county courthouse and all district justices are linked through that PennDOT system, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation so that all traffic matters are reported directly through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation from the district courts.