If you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime in Houston or Harris County and are awaiting trial, you’re probably wondering how the current COVID-19/coronavirus health crisis is going to affect your case.
Texas Criminal Courts Adopt New Rules in Response to COVID-19
As you are probably aware, the Texas State Criminal Courts are currently closed. Right now, they are scheduled to open again on June 1. However, it won’t be business as usual.
Some of the changes will be seeing include:
- Judges, lawyers and court officials will probably be wearing masks.
- Strict personal distancing.
- Restricting access to the courthouse.
- Courtrooms will be subjected to new rigorous new cleaning standards.
- Remote hearings.
- Only two passengers will be able to use the court elevator at a time.
- Counsel tables will be spaced 6 feet apart
As of yet, there are no plans to resume jury trials.
One thing’s for sure, these new rules and the continued danger of COVID-19 coronavirus will continue to cause plenty of headaches and delays for the Texas Criminal Court System.
Could COVID-19 Help Your Case?
In fact, the confusion, controversy and delays caused by the COVID-19 outbreak could actually help your case. Getting your trial rescheduled for a later date probably won’t be a problem. You still have a right to a trial by jury, even though jury trials are no longer being conducted.
The delays will give your lawyer more time to investigate your case for any legal flaws. The courts may also decide to place strict limits on the number of inmates in jails due to COVID-19, which could improve the chances of you getting parole or even having the charges against you dropped.
Of course, none of this will help your case if you don’t hire a Houston criminal defense lawyer to look out for your interests.
Take Advantage of the Court Delays to Speak to a Leading Houston Criminal Defense Attorney
Failing to seek legal representation is the biggest mistake you can make after being charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Houston or Harris County. Having a conviction on your permanent record could make it difficult to secure a loan, get a job or find a place to live. And having a prior conviction on your record could result in additional fines and/or jail time if you are found guilty of another crime.
It’s not too late to protect your rights. If your trial has been rescheduled for a future date due to COVID-19, there’s still time to hire an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss is a former County DA turned Houston criminal defense lawyer who has helped clients all over Houston and Harris County who have landed themselves in trouble with the law. She has successfully represented clients who have been charged with assault, shoplifting, drug possession, domestic violence and other crimes.
In many instances she has been able to get the charges against her clients reduced or dropped. Contact the law offices of Lisa Shapiro Strauss to schedule a free, remote consultation to discuss your case.
We know COVID-19/coronavirus has made things difficult for a lot of people. But it’s worth the extra effort to protect your rights and your future. If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime in Houston or Harris County, don’t wait until the courts reopen to protect your rights. Contact the law offices of Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss today.