COVID-19 Criminal Law Q&A by State

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COVID-19 Criminal Law Questions & Answers
4 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Communications Law and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: I need help ! I don't know how to go about this and if it's even worth it ..

I have a public defender . She calls me the day of my court date and tells me that the court is closed due to covid so no one is allowed in the court house . She left me a voice mail stating this loud and clear and repeated her self twice . she would notify me when the court re opened ,in the mean... Read more »

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr answered on Feb 24, 2021

Sorry about what happened. I would make sure that her office knows what happened to you and see if there is any way to help get your $2000 back. Unlikely, but worth a try.

Keep those VMs!

Good luck!

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Kentucky on
Q: I am on probation and they want me to come in but im scared due to covid until I get vaccination. Do I have any say so?
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Feb 23, 2021

No. If you don’t go in, they’ll likely violate you for absconding. Best to go in snd see what they want.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for New Jersey on
Q: if a certain person not to possess finds a gun and turns it over to cops can he still b charged?

my fiance found a plastic pellet gun down the cushion of a chair in the resort and casino room that we were staying in, he took it to security who called the local cops who arrested him charged him w certain person and possession, the casino took his photo and banned him then security came up to... Read more »

James A. Abate
James A. Abate answered on Feb 18, 2021

The only answer is to retain a lawyer. Recent orders from the NJ Supreme Court could permit his release while he waits trial. While his case is serious, the possibility exists of a jury aquital.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Texas on
Q: Can police legally unlock and search my glovebox without a warrant

I was recently stopped for an expired registration which if I'm correct right now is not even stoppable offense due to covid-19 and subsequently pulled out and surendered marijuana from my person to the officer he then without saying anything else to be watching his car got gloves one over to... Read more »

Brian Foley
Brian Foley answered on Feb 12, 2021

You're best legal challenge would be the reason for the initial detention. In Texas a police officer has to have reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation has occurred to pull over a vehicle. If the only reason the officer had to pull you over was the expired registration sticker it may... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: Violation of Probation for restitution not being paid in full prior to probationary period ending

I was convicted of felony theft, over $10k under $100k. I was sentenced to 4 years incarceration, all but one suspended and 5 years probation. I was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $47,000. I paid monthly what I could afford, abided by the terms of my probation and was released... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Feb 8, 2021

Assemble all your payment records and income verification and bankruptcy info, which will show your good faith efforts to pay. I do not see you being violated for inability to pay such a large restitution obligation. Nobody gets violated for not having enough money. Your probation should be closed... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Sexual Harassment for Louisiana on
Q: I was sexually abused by my pastor who was also my employer & Christian counsellor. He abused his power and sacred ..

.. sacred position, took advantage of my severe history of trauma, and violated my trust, destroyed my faith, gave me COVID from some missionaries that visited 2 months ago, and worst of all, when my phone broke and I needed a new one, he gave me his old one (after he thought he deleted most... Read more »

Douglas Lee Bryan
Douglas Lee Bryan answered on Jan 26, 2021

Your pastor may have committed a crime, which would be handled through law enforcement and the District Attorney. You should call your local police department or Sheriff's Office to discuss that aspect further. However, I recommend that you speak with an attorney who handles personal injury... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Domestic Violence for South Carolina on
Q: My mom owns her house and wants her boyfriend to move out because he has been drugging/stealing from her.

How do we go about this legally and without him hurting her? She's scared when she tells him to leave that he's going to get angry and try to hurt her. The last time she called the police on him, he told the police they were married and made it seem like she had mental issues, which she... Read more »

Jonathan Edmond Bennett Lewis
Jonathan Edmond Bennett Lewis answered on Jan 25, 2021


We are sorry to hear about these problems that your mother is having. No one should ever feel unsafe in their home.

The first thing that you should do is go down to your County Family Court, and speak to the Clerk of Court there. Tell them that you need an emergency...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Colorado on
Q: Is it true that a DF1 will not be sentenced to the mand. 8-yr min because only violent offenders go to jail due 2 covid?

My previous question re: this case was not clear. 11-count drug task force indictment. My arrest stemmed from controlled buy of 221g meth back in June. At the time of arrest (a few days ago) I had nothing on me but cash, no weapons, all search warrants came up essentially empty, except for friends... Read more »

Sean Maye
Sean Maye answered on Dec 16, 2020

Unfortunately, this new information does not change the answer. A lot depends on criminal history and overall facts of the case. The only way to know for sure if a DF2 drop down with no jail is possible, an attorney would need to speak with you directly, review the indictment and discovery and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for California on
Q: My girlfriend was sentenced to serve 5 days in jail on November 13, 2020 and here she still is in jail.

She saw the judge on November 13, 2020 and was sentenced for 5 days and so her court date was moved because of COVID and her cell was quarantine and she calls me up today and said she has to stay another 14 more days because quarantine again. Her public defender wont return my calls and she is... Read more »

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr answered on Dec 9, 2020

I don't think that you have all of the facts. Check to see online if she was actually sentenced to 5 days or just made an offer. Also check for other cases. Good Luck!

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Florida on
Q: Last October my son was arrested for battery and still going to court. The person who accused him has not been to court

And no longer lives in state. He was offered 90 days. Can he somehow get this thrown out. He was arrested on 11/8/20 on new unrelated charges and was told the battery charge has to be taken care before he can have a bond on new charges

Jeffrey H. Garland
Jeffrey H. Garland answered on Dec 5, 2020

Your son’s problem is the new arrest while out on bond. That’s why he can’t bond out. The new arrest reveals nothing about the first arrest. Either the witness who moved out of state shows up for trial or not. Depending on Covid it might be quite some time before a trial is started. Whether... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Family Law for New Jersey on
Q: What do I do if it's my second time being falsely accused of domestic violence and I feel like I was discriminated

This time when I went to pick my child's from his house he dragged me out slashed my tires broke my phone in front of the kids

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer answered on Dec 1, 2020

You really need to retain an experienced matrimonial attorney to obtain a Final Domestic Violence Restraining Order against him and contact the municipal prosecutor to file criminal charges against him. During this pandemic, you have a choice of either seeing your attorney in person or by way of a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and White Collar Crime for Tennessee on
Q: Are courts being more lenient on jail sentences with Covid? Hoping to get house arrest instead of jail time?
Sean Maye
Sean Maye answered on Nov 30, 2020

It depends on the facts of the case, your criminal history and the DA's and victims' positions on jail time. Generally, in the beginning of the pandemic, courts were leaning away from jail sentences and were letting a lot of people out of jail on already-imposed sentences. Now, though,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Car Accidents for Minnesota on
Q: Why is my appearance in court mandatory?

I was in an accident due to a failure to yield left and they found me at fault for the accident. I was told by the officer in charge that I would be able to pay my citation and plead guilty for the charge, but now it says I have a mandatory court appearance. It is a misdemeanor for crim/traffic and... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher answered on Nov 30, 2020

If the officer checks the "property damage or injury" box on the citation, the court appearance becomes mandatory. That means failure to appear will result in an arrest warrant. A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a maximum of 90 days jail, though jail is rare in cases like this.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: How long can the court Maryland court systems postpone a court date due to COVID-19?
Eric Todd Kirk
Eric Todd Kirk answered on Nov 24, 2020

The COVID19/coronavirus pandemic has claimed some 260,000 American lives since February. Experts suggest this is a once in a lifetime health crisis of epic magnitude. I predict he courts will continue to adhere to the guidance of public health officials and the governor. There is no limit on the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Minnesota on
Q: Hi, I am having issues with fulfilling my community service hours due to COVID

I am wondering about how courts are dealing with this COVID mess and the required hours for community service. Instead of doing Sentence-to-serve, I have been approved to do community service but have been having a difficult time fulfilling my hours. My deadline has already been pushed back twice... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher answered on Nov 24, 2020

I would expect that a probation and a judge would give extensions for this reason, but in the end would require the time to be served in jail. After all, community service is considered a jail substitute by the courts. Therefore, if it were me, I'd simply find a way to get the hours done.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: Because of coronavirus is it a favorable time for some one to turn them self in over a probation violation ?
Shanone Emmack
Shanone Emmack answered on Nov 21, 2020

Yes you should turn yourself in but , before you do, call and find out what your bond is or if you will be released on your own recognizance (ROR). That way you can plan ahead and get in and out relatively quickly. Good Luck!

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Georgia on
Q: If someone was sentenced to the RSAT program but they're not shipping due to COVID can they file a motion for less time

My friend was sentenced to the RSAT program on 10/20 but they're not shipping anyone off due to COVID. He wants to know can he file a motion of modification. Since his time doesn't start until he gets there.

Tracy S. Reeves Jr.
Tracy S. Reeves Jr. answered on Nov 18, 2020

You would need a valid, legal reason to file a motion for modification of sentence. If the reason is that the sentence will be longer than anticipated, it likely will not be granted. There is often a waiting list for RSAT and most people wait for months to get a bed in the program. If the RSAT... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Texas on
Q: How long is typical for a county jail to hold a person for another county in Texas...concerning probation violations?

Also,once arrested, they placed him in maximum security at the jail in Houston, TX. He states that there was no violence or verbal threat, etc. whatsoever. He doesn't understand why he has been placed there and OF COURSE, they won't tell him.

Edgardo Rafael Baez
Edgardo Rafael Baez answered on Nov 17, 2020

Thanks for your question. Since COVID, we have seem some strange things in county and other jail facilities in Texas. Although no one can answer you for sure, you should get some answers by hiring a local lawyer. Blessings!

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Missouri on
Q: What is the statute of limitations on class d misdemeanor stealing in Missouri

My wife was charged last Dec. 12 for stealing less than $40 of merchandise from Walmart. She is not guilty and has already pleaded not guilty in municipal court. They have rescheduled several times, then transferred it to circuit court. She was due to appear in front of the new judge to enter a... Read more »

Andrea Rogers
Andrea Rogers answered on Nov 16, 2020

No, this case is not going to be dismissed because of statute of limitations. For misdemeanors, the Prosecutor has 1 year from the date of the incident to file charges. In this case, it sounds like the Prosecutor filed the charge well within the 1-year statute of limitations.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Gov & Administrative Law for Georgia on
Q: If an individual has been in jail for 90 days and hasn't been indicted or granted bond,the judge is in violation of wha?
Jermario L Davis
Jermario L Davis answered on Oct 26, 2020

The statute that you are referring to is o.c.g.a. 17-7-50....if true, the judge would be required to set a reasonable bond upon petition by the Defendant. There are exceptions if the state intends to seek the death penalty. Specifically, the state can seek additional time (90 more days) to... Read more »

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