WILL THE COVID-19 RESPONSE IMPACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND TRIALS?
March 26, 2020
In Colorado and across the United States, events are being postponed in the wake of the coronavirus response. But, what does that mean for upcoming court dates in the state? According to Colorado’s top judge, almost all jury trials will be moved to April. This change may impact the criminal defense process for individuals in the state.
The constitutional right to a speedy trial in criminal cases is a key consideration when choosing to delay court trials. Due to this constitutional right, trials with a nearby deadline will proceed despite the moving of other court dates. For all other jury trials, dates have been moved to at least April 3.
Some judicial districts have made further adjustments in light of recent events. For example, Jefferson and Gilpin counties have suspended most civil and criminal jury trials through May 1. To keep up-to-date on local decisions, citizens are advised to visit the Colorado judicial website. Local lawyers can also advise on criminal defense options and the latest decisions in the wake of this situation.
Courthouses are extremely public places, which is why taking steps to limit people coming in and out is an inevitable part of the COVID-19 response. Public officials have also urged courts to find ways to minimize arrests and jail populations. These directives and decisions to come may have a significant impact on criminal defense in the state. A lawyer can he;p keep individuals awaiting trial up-to-date on the current status of things and to advocate for them even in a changing situation.