Covid-19 Legal Resources Blog

Coronavirus and Criminal Cases

Like so much of society, the criminal justice system has slowed down in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Most local criminal courts are closed and all essential business has been centralized into regional courts. All criminal trials and hearings have been postponed for the time being and only the most urgent matters are being heard. Anecdotally, it seems that arrests are down for minor offenses and most people who are being arrested, are being given appearance tickets for court dates far into the future.

What does this mean for people with pending criminal matters?

What has happened to your Constitutional right to a “speedy trial”?

Well, because these delays have been caused by the government’s reaction to a global pandemic, it probably means that these delays will be excused by the courts.

On March 20th, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8 which tolls all deadlines contained within the criminal procedure law until April 19, 2020. If the public health crisis continues to exist at that time, it is likely that the tolling period will be extended.

Once the crisis has passed and the courts re-open for business as usual, there will be a monumental backlog of cases to deal with and we anticipate that the courts and prosecutors will be anxious to resolve outstanding cases as quickly as possible.

Once the courts are fully functioning, will use this opportunity to resolve cases to your advantage. If you have questions about how the Governor’s Executive Order impacts your case, please contact us.

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