Are DWI Cases Still Happening Right Now?
As the economy opens again, the number of DWI and criminal complaints issued have risen a little bit. Due to pandemic closures, there is a backlog developing in the criminal courts. Municipal courts, on the other hand, have been staying on top of their calendars by use of virtual court appearances via platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Most cases are still being disposed of by way of guilty pleas or other dispositions, which are being handled virtually. However, for cases that are going to require testimonial hearings either through motions to suppress evidence or trials, those will have to be done in-person.
I just attended my first in-person court appearance since early March. Next week, sentencing on a breath test refusal case is scheduled. I also have trials still in process which I expect will resume sometime in late August or early September, but nothing is definite yet. I am ordering transcripts of earlier portions of those trials to decide whether we can actually continue them or whether we will need a mistrial and start over from the beginning. One concern with this delay is that a judge’s recollection may fade over time, the judge may lose the feel for the case, and it may be difficult, if not impossible, for the judge to render a full and fair decision. Time will tell how the closures affect the cases.
Learn your options - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (732) 218-9090