Many of our clients who have been arrested in Stamford Connecticut are calling to ask whether they still have to come to court amid the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
Stamford Criminal Court is Granting Motions for Continuance Due to Coronavirus
The Stamford Court is granting most motions for continuances. They want as little people in court as possible. If you or your lawyer file a motion for continuance, chances are the Stamford Superior Court will grant it and you do not have to come to court or face exposure to being arrested for Failure to Appear Second Degree which is highly unlikely with the state of this pandemic.
Stamford Criminal Court Only Available for High Priority Cases
Here’s the Stamford criminal court protocol for people facing arrests at Stamford Criminal Court: it’s limiting the business it conducts. As of March 13, 2020, the Stamford courthouse is only open to hear “Priority One Business Functions.”
What is a “Priority One Business Function” in Stamford Superior Court?
A Priority One Business function is a court case that has an immediate serious need to be addressed in court. These include most domestic violence cases, protective / restraining orders and modification hearings, restraining order applications, arraignments for people who are arrested and being held in prison on bond, speedy trial motions, and emergency motions for custody of children. These are cases that involve immediate threat and safety issues and allegations.
What if I have a case within the next 2 weeks that is not a Priority One Business Function?
If your case is within the next 2 weeks, the Stamford courthouse is automatically continuing cases. You should call the court or wait to get a letter in the mail with your new court date.
Will the Stamford Police Department Stop Making Arrests if the Courts Close?
No. All the laws that regulate our city are still in effect, virus or no virus. Closing courts does not stop the police from arresting you for breaking the law. If you find yourself arrested, time is of the essence. You need to contact a top Connecticut criminal attorney immediately to protect yourself.
What if I can’t make it to court because I think I have the Coronavirus?
Either call the Stamford Superior Court or fax file a motion for a continuance to get a new court date.
What if I just don’t show up at Stamford Court?
If you fail to show up for court, you will likely get a warning letter from the Connecticut bail commissioner. While there’s a chance you can get arrested for Failure to Appear in Second or First Degrees, it’s unlikely with everything going on. Typically, if you miss a second court date after a Bail Commissioner’s Letter has been sent to you, an arrest warrant will be issued for you and you will be charged with Failure to Appear, although this may be unlikely because of Coronavirus / COVID-19.
What if I have jury duty?
All Connecticut jury trials that are not already in progress are being suspended for at least the next 30 days. So don’t expect to have to report for your assigned jury duty within the next month if you have a summons.