How Corona-Virus impacts your DUI, Sex Crime or Domestic Violence Case

The weight of having a DUI, Sex Crime, or Domestic Violence Case can be overwhelming under any circumstance; however, in such uncertain times, these pressures may feel especially tolling. Though the world, as we know it, seems to have come to a halt, these cases can present even more significant limitations and fears during this time of insecurity. These proceedings are all daunting, frustrating, and can feel very defeating, especially with the global financial ramifications of the virus.

With over 2.3 million cases globally, countries and states are taking precautions and temporarily altering laws to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. In Arizona, the state placed a Stay at Home order on March 11 and asked its residents to “Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected.” During this time, only “essential businesses” will continue to work typically. In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey regards legal services as an “essential business” during the pandemic

Due to the temporary closure of both the courts, many government facilities, and agencies (including the Department of Transportation), many court dates have been moved or tentatively scheduled. The courts are currently planning on temporary closure until May 1. The legal system is following national coronavirus actions by limiting services, delaying court dates, prohibiting personal appearances, and temporarily changing; they are many of their policies. This is frustrating, but during this time, it is important to reach out to your lawyer and speak to them about the most proactive approach for your situation.

Despite the virus, police are essential workers and, therefore, still actively doing their jobs. Though there has been a significant decrease in traffic, police are still patrolling streets and highways at their standard rate in order to enforce both old and new laws. Contact your lawyer if you are arrested or stopped by the police and served a citation during this period of time.

If you have a DUI, in order to obtain your restricted license, you are still required to follow your specific state orders. If you have an ignition interlock device (IID), those requirements are also still mandatory. It is important to keep following all other lawful practices to continue to hold a valid license during COVID-19. You can visit your state’s website or contact your attorney to stay updated on current laws.

Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, family tension and irritability are common in situations at home and in some instances lead to domestic violence. The hardships and frustrations of family life can take a toll on relationships, and if you are affected, call your lawyer. They will help you figure out the right steps to take during the quarantine to preserve family relationships best.

Law offices are still open and there to support you during these trying times. These attorneys can answer all of your questions regarding all of the necessary steps you need to take now, and what steps to take in the future. Consulting a lawyer about your case is the best way to move forward so you can focus your time on your job, family, and health.

Attorneys are finding alternative ways to apply existing provisions and assistance to those who need it during this time. Many lawyers and firms are offering regular working hours but minimizing in-person contact. Law offices are still offering their services by videoconference, phone, email, and may even be willing to meet in person.

After you initially contact your lawyer, it is important to evaluate all of your potential options for consulting during COVID-19. Every law office has different preferences, but most will offer video and phone meetings. Video conferencing is likely the best option for you if your communications involve at least three people. Video calling is also a great route when there is a visual component, or a screen needs to be shared with all of the callers. Video conferences can be held on most smartphones with a camera, and any computer with a camera. There are many different video conference applications including, Zoom, Skype, Facetime, and many others, which you will be able to access for free by clicking a link sent to you by email. If you do not have access to one of these devices, your attorney may suggest a phone meeting instead.

If you need to access files or to sign documents from your lawyer, it is easy to obtain or sign these documents and return them electronically. Health and wellbeing are prioritized during this time. You will also be able to pay your attorney online. Their office will explain how to pay easily online.

Though video and audio calls are optimal during this time, there are some situations where an in-person meeting may be necessary. Some situations may require meetings in person. If you and your lawyer agree on meeting in person, it is critical to practice social distancing for your health and safety and to follow CDC guidelines during this time. The CDC recommends that meetings be held outdoors and that the people meeting remain six feet apart to avoid spreading germs. A mask should be worn while in any public setting outside of your home as well. If you are worried about meeting your attorney in person due to the virus, it is recommended that you ask them about the precautions their office has in response to COVID-19.

Your attorney will keep you updated on all court date modifications and other various legal changes that may affect you during this time. If you have questions on past or current legal situations, make sure to reach out to your lawyer.

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