Today Wake County Courts released a new memo outlining the plan to re-open the courts as of June 1. The memo is attached below, and contains a detailed plan to reduce interpersonal contact and exposure to the Covid-19 novel coronavirus while also processing and resolving cases. Functioning courts are the bedrock of our current system (love it or not) and this appears to be an important step toward ensuring that criminal charges can be resolved in a somewhat timely manner. It obviously is the product of much concern and contemplation.
The courts are allowing for limited personal appearances when a person is represented by an attorney and has waived appearance (essentially allowing the attorney to appear in their place and resolve the case). So, for folks who do not have extensive criminal history or aggravating factors in their case, it's possible a deal can be worked out with the DA to take care of the matter. Whether this can (or should) be done for folks who want to fight their charges is a question that should be examined on a case by case basis.
Previously, the DA announced that "90-96" deferrals can be handled remotely. These are typically available for first offenses for minor "drug" offenses such as cannabis possession. Importantly, the new drug deferral program does not require payment of court costs or administrative fees, which previously were $430!
If you or a loved one has pending criminal charges, give me a call to discuss the case. It's possible charges can be resolved without a court appearance. As always, I offer free consultations regarding criminal charges.