It is an undeniable fact that the current COVID-19 pandemic has, in one way or another, had an impact on the day to day lives of each living in the US. Generally, dealing with DUI charges is a lengthy, complicated, and often stressful process to go through. We find our clients are usually scared, embarrassed, and want it to go away as quickly as possible. Now with the daily updates and new restrictions put in place, we find many of our clients are wondering how will this affect my DUI case?
The Impact of Coronavirus on the Length of my DUI Case?
While every DUI case length varies case by case, and the DUI process from arrest to resolution differs dramatically. But if everything goes smoothly, we can usually get your case resolved favorably in four months; however, on average, the case length is about seven months. However, now with Courts have been instructed to follow the Center for Disease Control Guidelines, and are granting continuances of Court dates pretty liberally, we see many Courts just continuing dates on their own. Without the Court dates for your case moving forward, and since there is no time frame on when the Court system will be back to conducting business as usual, presumably, your DUI case is going to take a lot longer than the average of four months. Every Court has not implemented this process, so we recommend checking with your attorney on the status of your upcoming Court dates.
Impact of Coronavirus on DUI Trials
In Arizona, you are entitled to a jury trial on a DUI. All DUI jury trials currently have been vacated. Bringing 40 potential jurors into a room that already has a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff, and court staff would violate CDC guidelines. The courts are setting the new DUI jury trial dates out several months in the future. While it makes sense to halt jury trials and selection along with Court dates over public health concerns, there is no real timeline on when things will resume to normal. One can only assume the longer this procedure is in effect, the consequences of these measures could be noticeable for months or even years to come. No one knows if those trial dates will proceed or get continued. Thus, it will be a lot longer process to get a jury trial to begin. When trials start up again, there will be an unprecedented backlog of cases. The knock-on effect of the hold up of Court trials may have legal ramifications and could be of benefit to your DUI case, as defendants are guaranteed a speedy and fair trial under the Constitution. This could prove as beneficial to you and the outcome of your case as it may give an opportunity for your attorney to try to work out a deal with the prosecutor. With the backlog of trials, prosecutors may be eager to resolve as many cases that have dates set to trial as possible.
Impact of Coronavirus on my Jail Time
A misdemeanor DUI conviction allows a defendant to self-surrender for their jail term. In other words, the defendant picks the day they would like to report to jail. The jail time must start in 30 days, absent extraordinary circumstances. We are also receiving a lot of concerned calls from clients regarding their health safety concerns in serving their jail time during this time. Currently, no changes are known to this process yet. But there is a way you can try get your jail start date moved past the 30-day mark. Coronavirus is an extraordinary circumstance that would warrant starting jail time way past its start date. Any additional information on underlying health conditions you have will also be beneficial to tell the judge during this request. It is crucial to act quickly; you should contact your attorney immediately if you have any concerns or underlying health issues, especially. To request the judge to set the jail time even further, your attorney needs to file a motion to modify your confinement order if you have one already.
Impact of Coronavirus on your DUI Charges
If you have just been arrested and are facing DUI charges, you may be worried about the impact of the coronavirus on your case; it is crucial to contact a skilled attorney immediately. A DUI is a serious charge with mandatory jail time in Arizona. If you are facing DUI charges, you must speak with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. We committed to continuing to provide the absolute best possible criminal defense to members of our community. We offer free initial new client consultations via phone or one of the many video conferencing platforms out there. If you or someone you know finds themselves in trouble with the law, our attorneys will come to get you out of jail. Call now and get our team of attorneys working on your case immediately without risk. Call 480-248-7666.