As the pandemic winds down some courts are starting to reopen for in-person hearings. Case in point, and in accordance with General Administrative Order 2021-02, on May 21, 2021, Seattle Municipal Court (“SMC”) intends to allow in-person appearances for all out-of-custody criminal cases and contested infraction hearings. Of course, unless directly ordered to appear in-person by a judge, participants will still have the option to appear remotely for their SMC hearing by video or phone. On June 16, 2021, SMC plans to commence with jury trials.
To initiate this phase of reopening, SMC has taken several measures to protect everyone’s health and safety. Plexiglas barriers have been installed in courtroom jury boxes. Deliberation rooms are equipped with air purifiers. The court’s air filtration system has been adjusted to bring in more outside fresh air, in alignment with CDC guidance. The court has reduced the size of its jury pool to ensure that jurors maintain social distancing through all stages of the jury process. And any in-custody cases will be prioritized for scheduling jury trials.
SMC was at a standstill for many months due to the pandemic. Tons of cases were put ‘on hold’. In the fall of 2020, SMC finally began offering virtual hearings for all criminal and contested infraction hearings.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge (whether it be in municipal, district our superior court), don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.