On December 4, 2020 amid increasing positive test numbers for Covid-19, Judge Fair, the presiding judge for Snohomish County District Courts, extended the suspension of all jury trials until at least January 8, 2021. This was done via the issuance of Administrative Order 20-14, inclusive of attachments A and B, which can be found here – Administrative-Order-20-14 (snohomishcountywa.gov) .
As it stands in criminal law, all defendants are entitled to a jury of their peers. Clearly the ability to see, hear, and assess – in person – both the defendant and the witnesses of any given criminal case is of paramount importance, especially when a person is facing the prospect of jail time. As is widely known, the sixth amendment entitles most criminal defendants a trial by an impartial jury. Like the jurors themselves, the defendant, the court and the prosecutor have a right to see, hear and consider each potential juror. It is only logical to presume that it is significantly better to make these observations and/or assessments in person, rather than via a video feed.
In light of the current state of affairs, other courts are making similar choices to that of Snohomish County District Court. For example, due to the pandemic, Seattle Municipal Court has elected to postpone jury trials until March of 2021. It is likely in other courts – should they have not yet suspended jury trials – that if the defendant should request an in-person jury, the court would suspend the trial until it was safe to do so for all involved. It would be an unreasonable risk and/or liability to do otherwise, right?
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, 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.