Going To Court During The Covid Health Crisis

Going To Court During The Covid Health Crisis

Many people wonder what they should do if they have a court date while we are in the middle of the COVID-19 health crisis. People wonder if they should still go because they are worried about getting a warrant for not going. The worst idea is just blowing off the court date, this is never a good idea, and it doesn't matter if there is a health crisis.

Are you being represented by a lawyer in the matter?

  • If a lawyer is representing you, contact them, and they should be able to help you. They may tell you that the court has changed your court date, so you don't have to worry about going. They may also tell you that the court still wants the lawyer present, but you, the client, do not need to appear. 

  • Other courts are allowing lawyers to appear telephonically or by video conference. I have had several matters in the last couple of weeks where I was allowed to appear by telephone.

Do you have a lawyer representing you?

  • In some cases, you may have had a court-appointed attorney represented in your matter; if you know that you have a court-appointed defense lawyer, contact that person to see what you should do about your upcoming court date. If you are unsure, you can check with the court, and they should be able to tell you. 

  • You can also try calling the public defender's office, and they can tell you if you have an appointed lawyer in your matter. If you are still deciding which public defender office to contact, try finding the one that deals with your court. For example, if charged with a crime in felony court, contact the public defender's office responsible for that court.

What should you do if you don't have representation?

  • The first thing you should do is contact the court. The court may tell you that your court date has changed and you do not need to appear. Finding the court phone number on the internet should be simple. Many courts will also list an email or a fax number. 

  • Follow up to confirm the courts received the message if you send an email or fax. I have seen one more occasion where an email or fax gets lost, and the court doesn't accept it. 

  • Some courts allow people to appear by telephone or video conference if they represent themselves without an attorney. Again, make sure you get a hold of the court and find out if your court date has changed and if you need to appear.

What to do if you can't phone someone at the court?

  • Currently, many courts are short-staffed because staff may have been furloughed or working from home. Most of the courts I have been dealing with lately are short-staffed, so it may be challenging to reach someone by telephone.

  • If you need help getting a hold of someone at the court by telephone, try the court website. Many courts have handy websites to look up your next court date. You can see your next court date and if it has changed by going to the court website. 

  • If you are not feeling well, you should do everything possible to avoid going to court, where you could expose other people to your illness.

At Benikov Law, we understand how stressful appearing in court may be during the coronavirus health crisis. The most important step you can take right now is to consult with an experienced attorney with extensive criminal justice system knowledge. If you choose to work with our firm, you will always have direct access to your attorney and will work with one of Arizona's most knowledgeable criminal attorneys.

Our firm serves the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, and other locations around Arizona. If you or a loved one are scheduled to appear in court and are worried about the coronavirus spread in Arizona, please get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Benikov Law Firm's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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