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How the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Affect Criminal Defense Lawyers

With coronavirus reaching every state in the country at this point, its effect on all aspects of industry, economics, and life, in general, is becoming more pronounced. Each day it seems as though more cities/towns and even full states are telling their residents to practice social distancing and even in extreme measures – shelter-in-place. 

photo/ Miguel Á. Padriñán

What this means is that it severs that in-person connection between client and service provider. One place this is very obvious is the legal system and how coronavirus is affecting the ability of criminal defense lawyers to do their job. 

Police Are Making Fewer Arrests for Small Crimes

One of the first things to happen, which of course has a trickle-down effect, is that the police seem to be making fewer arrests when it comes to small crimes. Fewer arrests mean fewer charges filed, and fewer people needing a lawyer. Of course, this is the case for smaller crimes (low-level, non-violent offenses), not those that would be considered a criminal offense.

The problem, of course, is that it’s very difficult – in fact impossible – for police officers to adhere to social distancing measures if they are arresting people. That combined with the stress on the force right now and more and more officers calling in sick, so there are limited resources.

One of the most notable decreases occurred in two of the largest law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County. During the first two weeks of March, 14% fewer arrests were made in comparison to the same time last year. That doesn’t necessarily mean there were fewer crimes taking place, rather, it indicates a decrease in arrests. 

But What About the Criminal Charge Related Arrests?

While the number of people being arrested for small crimes may be dropping right now, the same can’t be said for criminal charge-related arrests. Police are obviously not letting offenders go with just a warning, and these arrests are still taking place. This means criminal defense lawyers are still playing a large role in the justice system, but perhaps in a bit different fashion.

Rather than showing up at an attorney’s office in person, consultations and client meetings can be done over the phone, or even by video. This allows clients and attorneys to adhere to social distancing measures.

According to The Rodriguez Law Group, if you are under investigation or charged with a crime, it’s important to find an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. This is the best way to “protect your freedom”. It can still be done in a way that keeps both parties safe, and limits the potential of spreading the virus, yet ensures clients get the help they need. 

An Evolving and Changing Situation Day-by-Day

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grip the nation and create an evolving and every-changing situation, it seems as though criminal defense attorneys are still very much an essential service that is learning how to make their own adjustments and concessions during these times.

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About the Author

- Veselina Dzhingarova has long experience in internet marketing and SEO. She is passionate about blogging to share her expertise. Veselina is a regular contributor at many other online publishers like chamberofcommerce.com, marketoracle.co.uk, newswire.net, bizcommunity.com, socialnomics.net and more. She is the co-founder of Financia­ltipsor.co­m, cryptoe­xt.com, Bl­ogforweb.c­om, Techsu­rprise.com­, travelti­psor.com a­nd others.­ You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn , Google+ or at [email protected]

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