Adjusting to the Criminal Justice System During COVID-19
You’ve likely heard how COVID-19 is impacting lives, jobs, businesses and social lives, but have you learned about its impact on the criminal justice system? In sum, the courts have taken a hard hit during these unforeseen times and are strategizing ways to continue operating under strict health and safety guidelines.
No one is to blame for these devastating times, but it’s important to ensure that you’re getting a fair trial even under these circumstances. The courts are difficult to navigate at the best of times, and this is certainly not the best of times. So, as you can imagine, it’s even more complicated to endure a criminal proceeding during a global pandemic.
With many of the local courts currently closed, now, more than ever, you should consult with an attorney who can help you understand the unprecedented changes to the courts and procedures due to COVID-19. Our Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys are monitoring the situation closely and learning the best ways to adapt to this “new norm.”
5 Common Ways Criminal Proceedings are Handled in COVID-19
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the criminal justice system is utilizing five common responses to overcome the issues posed by COVID-19. They include:
- Restricting or ending jury trials
- Restricting entrance into courthouses
- Generally suspending in-person court proceedings
- Extending court deadlines, including fees/fines deadlines
- Encouraging or requiring teleconferences and videoconferences
These five elements are inconvenient and could create added stress to your plate without a well-informed lawyer on your side. Further, you need to retain legal representation to best avoid suffering incarceration; jail is one of the last places you should be during this pandemic, as it’s unsanitary, overcrowded and nearly impossible to follow CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
Hiring an Attorney is Essential. Call (805) 467-6060 to Get Started!
This fluid situation means that anything can happen. One minute you could be told to appear at a virtual court proceeding and the next minute it can be canceled due to technical difficulties. There’s no way to predict what tomorrow holds. As such, you need a stable defense team in your corner to help you navigate the complexities of this “new norm.”
Our Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys obtain over 40 years of combined experience, including serving as prosecutors, meaning we understand how both sides of the law operate during these times. By knowing how the prosecution works to convict defendants and can prepare hard-hitting counterattacks as a result.