Where once Seattle Municipal Court (‘SMC’) lagged behind on having virtual hearings, it is now taking the lead and doing almost all of its hearings remotely. While most courts use the Zoom platform, SMC handles its virtual courtrooms via WebEx. To accommodate those who don’t have adequate technology, SMC is permitting people to participate by phone or video in a computer lab located in the courthouse.
In accordance with General Administrative Order 2021-01, SMC is now conducting all of its hearings virtually. Notwithstanding the language outlined in RCW 46.61.50571, the court previously had been holding virtual out-of-custody arraignment hearings for mental health court, domestic violence, and driving under the influence (DUI) cases. Non-DV and non-DUI cases were, for the most part, put on hold. On March 3, 2021, that all changed and SMC broadened the virtual format to include these types of cases.
Although SMC elected to expand its overall case type coverage, it still isn’t conducting jury trials. SMC jury trials will remain suspended through at least May 21, 2021. The cases that can be resolved short of a jury trial are being dealt with accordingly. Those that require trial are being set to sometime after May 21, 2021. From the looks of it, it will surely be a busy Summer.
If you or a loved one has been cited or charged for a crime (in Seattle or otherwise), 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.