WaPo: Coronavirus slowing wheels of justice in D.C. region with closed courthouses, delayed trials

From the Paul Duggin and Spencer S. Hsu at the Washington Post:

With almost no aspect of daily life free from disruption in a time of pandemic, the normally slow-moving wheels of justice in the Washington area turned even more sluggish Friday as officials looked for ways to keep courts functioning while guarding against the spread of coronavirus in their buildings.

Fairfax County Circuit Court announced the suspension of all civil jury trials for 30 days starting Friday. The parties can convert a jury trial to a bench trial.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said Friday that his office will “broadly agree” to delay traffic cases and misdemeanors, felony preliminary hearings, circuit court trials and pleas over the month to reduce the number of people who have to come to the courthouse.

Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, the chief prosecutor for Arlington and Falls Church, is moving to postpone “all non-urgent” cases of defendants who are not behind bars. For cases involving people who are jailed, “essential staff will remain available,” she said.

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If you or a family member need criminal defense representation during these unprecedented times, contact our office and our attorneys Farheena Siddiqui and Brian Szmak can discuss how we can help you.