What Happens If You Are Arrested During the COVID-19 Quarantine?
Louisiana and the rest of the United States remain under quarantine for the foreseeable future as we ride out the COVID-19 pandemic. Though courts have closed down, cops are still out enforcing the law and arresting people who break it.
So what happens when a person is arrested during the quarantine? How will they get out of jail? When will their court date be set? Our New Orleans criminal defense attorneys are available to represent you and answer these questions.
Louisiana Court Dates Will Be Set When the Courts Reopen
Louisiana courts are closed until at least May 16th, or until further notice. Court dates for new arrests or charges will not be set until after the court reopens. Existing court dates during this period will be rescheduled until a later time.
Many courts are saying that they will issue subpoenas or contact individuals when the court reopens. However, it is not clear what the time-frame on these contacts will be, and likely different courts will operate at different speeds. Additionally, if the courts do not have your most recent contact info or address, your subpoena could get lost in transit.
That’s why it’s important to be proactive about finding out your court date once the courts reopen. A New Orleans criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the various sections of courts, and ensure that your court date gets set as early as possible. There will undoubtedly be a backlog of court dates to schedule and makeup when the quarantine is over.
Don’t let your legal matters get drawn out longer than they need to. A defense attorney can help you deal with your issue as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you can get back to your life.
Getting Out of Jail During COVID-19
If you or someone you know is arrested during COVID-19, there are some changes you should know about.
Bond hearings are now being conducted completely remotely. Whereas previously, bond hearings were conducted on a regularly scheduled basis, the timing can now be somewhat inconsistent, particularly in Orleans Parish.
As with rescheduling court dates, practices and particularities will vary from court to court. Additionally, this is uncharted territory, so procedures are very much in flux.
How Louisiana Criminal Laws and Rules Have Changed as a Result of the Coronavirus
Normally, bond hearings are held before a judge or commissioner. The defense attorney or public defender is present in-person to represent on behalf of the defendant.
The lawyer will work to get a reduced bond or plea deal, in order to get their client out of jail as quickly as possible.
However, the human element has now been stripped away due to social distancing. Judges and commissioners are often making bond decisions behind closed doors — decisions which affect how and when someone will be able to get out of jail.
Additionally, there used to be a regular schedule for when these types of hearings can be held. Now they are often being held on a case-by-case basis. The Louisiana Supreme Court issued an order that judges must make themselves available and regularly conduct hearings remotely. However, in practice, not all judges have been as readily available as one might hope.
The best thing you can do in these unusual circumstances is get an experienced New Orleans criminal defense lawyer on your side as early as possible after your arrest or citation. They will get in contact with the judge and set up a hearing if necessary.
Bail Bondsmen Remain Open
If you are trying to get someone out of jail during the Coronavirus, bail bondsmen services remain open. However, this may be on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, there may be restrictions on in-person payments to comply with social distancing. Call the bail bondsmen ahead of time to make arrangements.
Should You Be Worried About Catching COVID-19 in Jail?
Jail isn’t the most ideal place to practice social distancing. Especially immediately following an arrest, individuals are often held in a group holding cell with others. Other factors like limited access to health care and antibacterial supplies also endanger the health of people held behind bars.
Already, some prisons in Louisiana have reported positive COVID-19 results. At the time of this writing, there does not seem to be any sort of comprehensive measures being taken to protect prisoners from the Coronavirus.
In terms of safety, the best thing you can do is not get arrested. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes. If you or someone you know does get arrested during COVID-19, it is tantamount to their safety to get them out of jail as quickly as possible.
Get a Premiere New Orleans Criminal Defense Law Firm On Your Side
Bloom Legal has been helping people in the New Orleans area get out of jail and fight their charges for over 15 years. Our experience and reputation an invaluable tools in this unique time. When you choose Bloom Legal, rest assured that we will do everything in our power to get your or your loved one out from behind bars as quickly as possible.
As long as cops are still arresting people, our work will remain an essential service. That’s why our New Orleans criminal defense law firm is continuing to operate at full capacity through the stay-at-home order.
Even during the Coronavirus, we are available to take your call 24/7, and our consultations are always free.
Contact Bloom Legal to set up a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer today.