The coronavirus pandemic has posed a serious challenge to law firms like Donich Law including courts of law. Seven months of pandemic has significantly affected the criminal justice system particularly with the backlog in court cases that have to start clearing. In courts, judges will require the wearing of face masks in order to protect jurors and others from Covid-19.
With people confined in their homes together, it isn’t surprising to see an increase in domestic assault and intoxication cases. According to Giles County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bobby Lilly, there is a notable increase in crimes of violence like strangulation, repeat violations of protective orders and family violence that involves weapons.
Meanwhile, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and others say that there is little uniformity to the cases across New River and Roanoke Valleys. Anecdotal accounts from different localities suggest that different places have different experiences.
In Montgomery and Giles counties, reports have revealed a sharp rise in domestic violence cases from a year ago; however, the number of burglaries has declined because people are staying at home, making their properties less vulnerable to burglars.
In Virginia, one of the significant issues is the halting of jury trials while officials are figuring out how to protect juror and lawyers from Covid-19. The problem has become more daunting as more numbers are reported by the Department of Health across the state.
Another major challenge is the reluctance of both defendants and witnesses to come to court. A steadily building backlog of cases is waiting particularly the non-jury cases. Local judges have submitted their plans to keep courts safe but they have to wait for state approval to resume jury trials.
At least 21 criminal jury trials are on hold in Montgomery County but judges have been instructed to schedule jury trials for 2 days in anticipation of things taking longer while Covid-19 procedures are being approved.
It is very frustrating for anyone to be charged with a criminal offense but there is Donich Law that offers individualized client service. The law firm has earned a reputation in trusted risk management and litigation built on hard work, results and years of experience.