Stories about the manipulative use of judicial resets have surfaced in my own interviews with people recently released from Harris County Jail. Houston resident George* explained how the courts have consistently reset his misdemeanor case over the past year. Had he not been able to bind, he would probably have been locked up until he pleaded guilty. As it is, he is trapped in the reset cycle, unable to leave the fall behind. Your lawyer should be prepared to come to court with you to obtain an arrest warrant. Having a lawyer by your side shows the court that you are serious about your case and that you did not intend to disobey the court by dropping your hearing date. Given that vaccines are expected to be generally available by this summer, the criminal court trial could return to normal in a few months. Until then, criminal courts will work with capacity restrictions. We appear before the courts on behalf of our clients on an almost daily basis. It is important to use this time to prepare criminal records by requesting any ongoing investigations and dealing with any other outstanding issues. If you have any questions about how the batch file program affects your case, don`t hesitate to give us a call.
Until then, stay healthy and take care of yourself. Judicial resets are a twisted tactic of the justice system on a normal day, but the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased its prevalence and impact. For hygiene reasons, the Harris County courts have been largely closed since March 24, 2020. This means that anyone who has scheduled a hearing date for this summer has postponed it by at least a few months. However, in the absence of a clear end to the pandemic, new hearing dates in late August, September and October are more likely to serve as placeholders for the word “unknown.” The only notice you receive about your hearing dates is a notice mailed from the Clerk`s Office. If you do not show up for the hearing, you may be arrested again for not appearing. For this reason, it is important that you ensure that the clerk`s office has your most recent and most recent mailing address. Also, be sure to notify your lawyer immediately of any change of address or phone number. Check with your lawyer before making longer vacation plans and provide your attorney with a copy of your itinerary. Today, we are discussing what to do if you miss a hearing date. We`ll also go over some of the reasons why you can legitimately try to postpone your hearing date. “I didn`t even know they were closed for health reasons.
I stayed there for an hour. [A policeman] passed by. And I thought, `What`s wrong?` and he said, `Oh, we`re closed.` Well, hell. Lance relied on information from a passing police officer because the courthouses had no signage or signs of closure. “Nothing. It`s just `Court` with an arrow in front of the door. During our interview, Lance`s frustration was acceptable. In the midst of a global pandemic and a personal crisis, it does not occur to anyone that the courts are withholding information essential to their reintegration. This makes these buildings look more like traps than courtrooms. This keeps people in jail for long periods of time if they can`t afford to pay bail, and it`s harder for those who have paid bail to pursue their case still pending. The maximum penalty of imprisonment and the maximum penalty for failure to comply with a written promise to appear in court are the same as the main charge. Therefore, you are committing an additional crime by intentionally missing a hearing date.
As a result, the judge can find you guilty of contempt for non-appearance, even if you beat the original charge for which the police arrested you. My first encounter with the ruthless effects of judicial resets was in a NowThis video about people being held in Harris County Jail in Harris County for months, if not years, awaiting trial. Although they are legally innocent, their imprisonment is maintained by a cycle of reset that begins with large amounts of bail; Because these are people who cannot pay to leave prison on their own, they have no choice but to remain detained until their trial, whatever it may be. Open lines of communication with your lawyer help avoid difficult situations. Give your lawyer a warning if you have to miss court. For example, tell your lawyer that you will have surgery and that you will not be physically able to go to court. Your lawyer will go to court and tell the judge why you are not there, but first he must know why. When the judge asks your lawyer where you are and they have no idea, it seems like you just haven`t bothered to show up. There must be a real urgency for a judge to excuse your presence in court. You must be prepared to go to court as soon as possible after your missed appointment to settle any arrest warrants issued by the court.
Be sure to carefully review the notification you receive. Since many G.A. courts remain closed (e.g., G.A. #20 Norwalk and G.A. #5 Derby), your case may take place elsewhere. Norwalk`s cases are being heard at Stamford G.A. #1 as the Norwalk Court remains closed until further notice. If a case is selected to be called a “batch file”, it will receive a hearing date of approximately 10 to 14 days in the future. In some situations, we only informed 7 days in advance. As a general rule, it is not possible to obtain the continuation of these referrals except in unusual circumstances (e.g. medical conditions or COVID quarantine).
Since June, we have been dealing with these batch assignments almost daily in Connecticut`s criminal courts and, as a result, we have been able to resolve many cases over the past few months. Apparently, the goal of the judiciary is to limit the number of cases in the courtroom so that people can disperse around the courthouse and maintain social distancing as much as possible. Overall, the system has worked well, although only a few cases per day can be treated due to capacity limitations. Orlando-based defense attorneys Moses & Rooth are familiar with Florida`s criminal justice system. As former prosecutors and now accomplished criminal defense attorneys, Moses & Rooth lawyers understand how to keep you from sinking deeper into trouble. Call our office today. Our customers can reach us at any time. We do this to ensure that our clients have the best representation possible. Don`t wait to fix your missed hearing date. Contact us today. The longer you wait, the less a judge will believe you can`t avoid missing the court.
If they think you missed court for no good reason, they may keep you in jail until your case is resolved, or they may increase your bail conditions. Going to court is stressful, but it`s not optional. You can`t just skip judgment if you`re afraid of what might happen. Missing the court because you are afraid of the consequences will only make those consequences worse. It can be very frustrating to wait several months for a hearing date and only find out a few days in advance that you have to appear in court. To respond to the new batch file system, we started to be more proactive with all our files. We try to prepare all our files and use them in case a particular case is called for a hearing. In this way, we can take advantage of the situation and try to move towards a favorable solution to our client`s question.
Section 901.31 of the Florida statutes outlines the power of the judiciary to get people to go to court. This law stipulates that a person who intentionally fails to appear in court, as required by written notice, is liable to a fine and imprisonment. In June, the judiciary launched a system in which cases were assigned to collective assignment of cases and invited to a face-to-face hearing within 10 days to 2 weeks. Many clients were surprised because their cases had continued a few months later and they suddenly received a call from our office informing them that the matter had been called at an earlier date. It appears that the “dossier batch” program is centrally coordinated in Hartford and that the criteria used to select cases are unknown at the time of writing. My interview with Lance ended with a harsh reality of judicial resets and their impact on the cash deposit system: “I think it`s another way to get someone to do something just because.” Talk to your lawyer about why you missed court and give them any documents you can get to prove why the court should excuse your absence.