When you’re accused of a crime, you face expenses and time away from work and family even before your case has been resolved. The court system typically doesn’t care.
But the pandemic showed us that the legal process does not have to completely disrupt your life. Courts were forced to hold hearings online, making it easier for the accused to squeeze hearings into their busy lives. Arraignment and bond hearings for a DUI in Vail no longer require a full day away from work. Defendants in rural parts of the state can choose an attorney in Denver who can effectively advocate for them in online hearings.
I’m glad to see that the Colorado Supreme Court is considering rules that will encourage courts to continue to hold “virtual proceedings.” But I suggest the court put more teeth in the rules. Too much is left up to the discretion of judges, many of whom are former prosecutors for whom the welfare of the accused is not No. 1.
For example, the rules allow courts to opt out of virtual hearings if the judge decides he or she does not have the right technology or staff. Not only is that a loophole to drive a truck through, it’s a copout. Is there a courthouse that doesn’t have internet? If my granny can do a Zoom call, every judge and court clerk can.
And if there is a lack of resources, the court system should make the required investments. After all, even if they don’t have defendants’ concerns top of mind, virtual hearings save time and money for the courts and prosecutors, too.
It isn’t often that courts consider rules changes that are as advantageous to the accused as these. As is often the case, defense attorneys will have to advocate for the best interests of their clients when the system doesn’t care.
Need Legal Advice?
If you are in Colorado and have been charged with a crime, contact Krizman Law TODAY for a confidential review of your legal case.
Mr. Krizman is a criminal defense attorney in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in providing relentless defense for domestic violence, DUI, and drug crimes. He is a former public defender who has also worked for a district attorney and is licensed in the State of Colorado, and the United States Federal Court, District of Colorado. Mr. Krizman is a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, and Arapahoe County Bar Association. A Colorado native, he has a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in Government and World Affairs from the University of Tampa. Contact him today at 720.819.7317.