Hi, my name is Russell Hebets, from the law firm of Hebets and McCallin, and today I’m going to be talking about how the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is affecting the criminal justice system. It has thrown the criminal justice system into disarray just like it has so many other industries.
Right now court cases are getting continued out 30, 60, maybe 90 days, in order to basically have that social distancing everyone’s looking for. The only cases that are being heard are essentially emergency hearings. Now, if you have a case right now in the criminal justice system, your case likely already has been or is going to be continued again. That impacts your right to a speedy trial. Courts are asking defendants to voluntarily waive their right to a speedy trial. Speedy trial is a constitutional right that everyone in America has. It comes from the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, or Article II, Section 16 of the Colorado Constitution here. And what that says is, the D.A. has to get your case to trial within six months of your entering a not guilty plea.
Now, what we’re seeing is courts are asking defendants to voluntarily waive that right to a speedy trial. No one should be voluntarily giving up their constitutional rights just because someone asks. It is not in the best interests of you or your case. So you shouldn’t be doing that.
If you have questions on this, give us a call. We can help. You can find us online at hebetsmccallin.com, or give us a call, and we’ll set up a free Zoom conference. Everyone out there, stay safe, and we’ll see you next time.