COVID-19 Coronavirus Impacts on Virginia Criminal Sentences, Pretrial Confinement, and Bond Hearings

Since March of 2020, there has been a rapid shift in the criminal justice system in Virginia, desperately trying to keep up with and contain the impacts of COVID-19. More individuals who have been arrested for nonviolent offenses are being granted bond by the magistrate, and more defendants who were initially denied bond by the magistrate are being admitted to bail during bond hearings and bond appeals. Additionally, this tragic pandemic has presented opportunities for inmates to finish serving their sentences on home electronic confinement (“house arrest”) and other non-incarceration options.

At McCormack & McCormack, we know that when you or a loved one is incarcerated, even under ordinary circumstances, it can be a terrifying and desperate time. With the possibility for Coronavirus to spread through a jail like wildfire, it is more important than ever to try everything possible to get our clients out of jail, whether on pretrial release or reducing or modifying their sentence.

Since mid-March, there have been several orders handed down by the Supreme Court of Virginia and the local courts of Hampton Roads and throughout Virginia, which have mandated the continuance of all “non-emergency” matters. These matters include criminal preliminary hearings, motions hearings, and bench and jury trials. Currently, the closures extend through April 26, 2020, though we expect they may continue beyond that date. Falling under the umbrella of “emergency” matters, though, are hearings such as bond hearings and appeals, protective order hearings, and motions to reconsider sentences and bond denials. It is more important now than it has ever been to secure competent and aggressive representation to get you or your loved one out of jail as immediately as possible.

Several courts and jails throughout Greater Hampton Roads have begun releasing non-violent offenders on bond or early release, and many commonwealth attorney’s offices have softened their stance on instances which they might agree to a modification. Whether your loved one is in Accomack, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Northampton County, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg/James City County, or York County, we can assist in their attempts to secure a bond or an early release.

The Attorneys at McCormack & McCormack, upon being retained to represent our client, will immediately contact the prosecutor assigned, or the clerk’s office, to discuss the possibility of an agreed-upon early release or bond. While we are unfortunately unable to visit clients face-to-face currently, we will immediately make contact with the client and discuss their situation. We will address all factors with them which might assist their position for early release or bond, such as: underlying health issues making them more at-risk; their age being a risk-factor; the nature of their charges or convictions (whether they are violent or non-violent); their family status outside of jail; and any other factors which would promote their release from confinement. If an agreement cannot be reached with the prosecutor, we will file the necessary motions for an emergency hearing, to be held as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate any longer. Call McCormack & McCormack 24/7 at (757)463-7224, and unleash us on your case NOW!

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