COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) AND MY CASE (TRIAL OR APPEAL)
The rapidly expanding pandemic crisis of COVID-19 has had sweeping effects on everyday life. Due to Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommendations California has taken immediate measures to protect the public by enforcing social distancing and restrictions of gatherings of more than ten (10) people. This has meant immediate actions by the California Supreme Court and the California Superior Courts. Trial and Appeal Courts have moved to cease operations by closing doors and postponing pending matters. In the Los Angeles Superior Court, only critical in-custody matters with substantive pending hearings are being dispositioned. All other matters – trial or otherwise – are being continued by the Court for 30-45 days.
With the CDC recommending drastic changes in American lifestyle to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, it is uncertain if the Courts will resume normal operations in the next 60-90 days.
How Does This Affect My Case?
If facing criminal charges, appeal deadlines, or post-conviction relief; you have rights. The right to a speedy trial and appeal are not lost due to national emergencies. As an individual, you must take action to ensure you are continuing your defense. Although physical hearings are being postponed, documentation is still being processed behind-the-scenes. This means prosecutors and investigators are continuing forward with new filings against you. It is important you further your defense via conferences, electronic document submissions, or fax lines made available to your attorney.
What Will Happen To My Pending Appeal?
Court operations may be in chaos; however, legal time to appeal and statutes of limitations remain. Having competent legal representation moving your case forward and monitoring the events on your pending filings will ensure nothing is falling through the cracks. If there is a failure on the Court’s part to respond or properly process, these failures may be brought up to the advantage of your defense.
Can My Case Be Hurt Or Helped By Any Of These Events?
The response to the Coronavirus pandemic is in an effort to protect the public’s health. The Courts are enforcing federal recommendations so as to protect their employees. This should not come at the expense of the public’s interests. Cases pending in the judicial system should neither be hurt nor helped by these events. Practically speaking, a postponement of a pending hearing that the Court has not deemed “critical” can have a devastating impact on an individual and waiting for a delayed response on a pending filing can be confusing and frustrating. Your attorney will protect your rights and maintain the necessary communication with all parties. If there is any failure by the Court, your attorney will make sure that your case is not hurt.
What Do I Do Now?
If you are facing new charges, an inmate, friend or relative of a defendant, consult with an experienced and qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer. Our California team has years of experience defending serious cases through to successful early disposition, trial, post-conviction, and appeal outcomes. Contact us now for a Free Consultation.