While many of you are worried about sick family members and friends; staying in place and keeping yourself fed; we at [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] have an extra onus of work. Our clients. We are a criminal defense firm. We help those people facing charges ranging from drunk driving and drug possession to serious felony offense in state and federal courts throughout the Upstate of South Carolina.
SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty first gave attorneys official warnings about preparing for COVID-19 on March 4, but last week word came down that all jury trials have been postponed through the end of next month. This has changed a lot of what we do when preparing for clients. Some have been put in limbo, but for many other people facing non-violent charges this actually has helped them because there is an effort to expedite their cases.
Just this week, one of our attorneys, Mary Hunter Beasley, was in court where all of her clients appeared via video conferencing as they worked out pleas before a judge and prosecutor. Hundreds of cases were heard in one day. The reason is that state officials are trying to lessen the number of people in jail in an effort to curb the virus.
This is a good thing. Not only are we helping to stop the spread, we are speeding up the court process for people facing charges on things such as bad checks, shoplifting, public disorderly conduct and the like. A lot of times, these are the people who can’t afford to pay a bond, so they end up sitting in jail waiting for a court date longer than their sentencing would require even if they are found not guilty.
One thing to remember is that people with attorneys are able to get through the system quicker, which makes it more important for people to hire a lawyer to defend them.
To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person or via telephone. Please call our office to discuss your options.