The coronavirus pandemic has affected all areas of life and this includes criminal defense. We have written in the past about how COVID-19 has resulted in the release of thousands of inmates across the nation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the nation’s jails. If your loved one is in jail and you have questions about whether he or she may qualify for early release due to COVID-19, consider reaching out to Ballard Law, PLLC, a criminal defense law firm in Jackson, Mississippi today.
Coronavirus is also impacting other areas of the criminal justice system. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, courts across the country are restricting or limiting jury trials, suspending in-person court proceedings, and extending deadlines in the criminal justice system. What does this all mean if you have been criminally charged, if you had a court date or your court date was delayed, or if you were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi? Let’s take a closer look:
- What is your city or state’s policies on citation and arrest? Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to prevent jails from becoming overcrowded and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some infractions that would have previously resulted in jail time, a court date, or arrest, are being treated as citations instead. Some non-violent crimes may be handled as citations or even as warnings. However, officers must generally implement these policies fairly and in a standardized manner. If you were arrested for an issue that may be cited at this time, a criminal defense law firm in Jackson, Mississippi may be able to fight for the fair enforcement of the law to all.
- Are you subject to release, or is the crime for which you have been charged a crime for which people are being released early? Many jails across the country have identified non-violent offenders and those who pose the least threat to the community and are offering some of these people the chance for early release or the opportunity to serve the remaining time of their jail sentence at home. If you have been charged with a non-violent crime or a crime for which people in jail might be released, a criminal defense law firm like Ballard Law, PLLC in Jackson, Mississippi may be able to help you. For example, you may be able to participate in a diversion program, take a plea deal that permits you to avoid jail time, or successfully fight your charges.
- Were you arrested for violating a shelter in place order? In some parts of the country, shelter in place orders are being charged as misdemeanors. However, police officers have leeway when deciding whether to prosecute or use the opportunity to educate a person about the law. However, sometimes these practices and policies are not always implemented uniformly, leading to racial profiling, disparities in justice, and more.
- Your right to a speedy trial. Individuals who have been charged with a crime are protected under the Constitution to have the right to a speedy trial. However, because courts have been closed and because some jury trials have been postponed, some of the deadlines may be extended. Still, your trial cannot be extended indefinitely because of COVID-19. In some cases, your criminal defense lawyer like Ballard Law, PLLC in Jackson, Mississippi may be able to help you either negotiate a plea deal or present evidence to show why charges should be dropped.
- Incentives for plea bargains. Because of the pressure to keep the jail population down, pressure to avoid crowded courtrooms, and pressure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, defendants may have better bargaining power when it comes to plea deals in the era of COVID-19. If you are facing a situation where you have questions about whether you should take the plea deal offered, reach out to Ballard Law, PLLC, a Jackson, Mississippi criminal defense law firm today to learn more.
COVID-19 is changing the way crimes are handled in America. It is affecting court cases. It is affecting probation and parole, and it can even impact how your case might be handled if you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges. Ballard Law, PLLC is a criminal defense law firm in Jackson, Mississippi who works with those who have been arrested or charged with a crime. We can review the evidence, review the circumstances of your arrest, and fight for your rights. In some cases, we may be able to negotiate a plea deal or help get the charges dropped. Ultimately, our work is to help fight for your rights and freedom. Reach out to the criminal defense lawyer of Ballard Law, PLLC in Jackson, Mississippi today or reach out to USAttorneys.com to get matched with the lawyer at Ballard Law, PLLC.