Is it Possible to Avoid Jail Time in Los Angeles For a Criminal Case Because of the Coronoavirus (COVID-19)?
Right now Los Angeles County is trying to empty their jails. They're not alone. Orange county is doing the same — Riverside county and San Bernardino county. Al 38 of the courthouses have coordinated with the judges and the prosecutors and they have a list of criminal defendants who are in custody that are eligible to be released on their own recognizance or get their bail lowered. I'm trying to make arguments in all my cases where people are in custody.
Defendant's with Serious Criminal Cases Remain in Custody
The main people that they're keeping in custody right now are the people charged with very serious cases. For example, three strikes cases, murder cases — cases where there's a million dollars bail and he person is a legitimate threat to the public.
Those are the cases that are hard to get out of custody. But I would say, now is a good time to try and resolve a criminal case where you would normally be looking at prison.
Whether the defendant is in custody and you're a family member trying to help them out and hire their attorney, or maybe you're someone looking for an attorney and you know that your crime is a serious one and you might face jail or prison time.
Because they're so worried about the fact that if someone in custody gets this coronavirus, it will spread like wild fire through the Los Angeles County jail system and it wouldn't just affect the inmates, now you have to let a lot of people go and it would put people in hospitals.
It would just create a complete disaster for the LA county jail system, but it would also affect the people who work inside the jails, the deputies, the sheriffs, the staff members.
Then nobody would be able to go in the jails to visit their clients — like the attorneys — because of the threat that they would contract the Covid-19 virus. So, that's a real consideration right now for everybody in Los Angeles county and the sheriffs, LAPD, the prosecutors, the District Attorneys, the City Attorneys and the judges are all working to try to get people out of jail.
Negotiation with Prosecutor to Avoid Jail Time
One thing though is that you're really not going to be helped as far as plea bargaining goes if you're looking at jail or prison time if you're in a situation where you're going to get a deal and you're still going to remain in custody.
So, you'd have to be in a situation where you're not going to get any custody time because if you're going to get custody anyway, then it really doesn't make a difference for the prosecutors as far as giving a better resolution on your behalf.
So, if you're in a situation where you're fearful of going to jail — not only because it's dangerous to go to jail — but also because you don't want to be locked in a location where the Covid-19 virus could spread like wild fire like Los Angeles county jail, Wayside, Twin Towers or even for female custody, the Lynwood Regional Center.
No Reported Cases of Cornoavirus in Los Angeles County Jails
All of these locations, if the virus gets in there, it's going to cause a lot of havoc. Right now as I post this information and it is at the end of March 2020, there's no Covid-19 cases that they know of.
However, there are a number of people who are currently quarantined in Los Angeles county and those individuals could end up coming down with the virus and then that would obviously be a big problem because they probably came in contact with a number of other individuals.
Unless people are a keep-away in Los Angeles jail or segregated from other inmates, if they've got a bunch of inmates in a cell and one of those inmates has that virus, obviously that's going to very easily spread to other inmates and even the sheriff's deputies inside the Los Angeles county jail.
So, if you need an attorney who can really work hard to keep you out of jail or out of prison, pick up the phone. Make the call now and I will do everything possible to assist you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.