What to do if you have a Florida violation of probation, house arrest or community control arrest warrant or Notice to Appear during the COVID 19 Pandemic in 2020 – Step 5
Step 5: Expect More Uncertainty
Chaos unleashed by the pandemic will continue for at least two or three years. Everyone still wants to hear that a miraculous cure is a month away and vaccination is right around the corner. Reality will intervene harshly.
The Criminal Justice System (CJS) is never properly funded because tax cuts to the super-wealthy are more important than actually paying for the cost of the most expensive and backward criminal justice system in the world. Now that the pandemic is here, there will be additional money for Florida’s CJS just like there has been to stimulate the economy: too little, too late, and poorly managed.
This will absolutely impact your violation case. Everything from warrants, bond issues, ethics, turn-in procedures, warrant withdrawals and replacement with a Notice To Appear, in court procedures, video procedures and every other aspect of the CJS not mentioned will be affected.
Don’t be surprised if a settlement offer one day is replaced the next, if court dates change without notice, or if there are sudden probation office and courthouse closures after a period of relaxed social distancing.
Final Point, Tip, and CAVEAT: These are not normal times, so you are going to need the best legal team you can find. One that is familiar with the technology needed in a post “in-court” world as well as legal expertise with violation cases. Violation of probation and community control cases result in more sentences to jail or prison than new cases. This will continue, and the largest number of people sentenced to jail and prison in Florida’s history is right around the corner. We’re ready. Are you?
Stephen G. Cobb has degrees in computer & electronic technology as well as history and law. He was the first law student in Florida State University history to use a computer in the classroom and has been certified as a criminal law specialist by the Florida Bar since 2002. He has used technology for Remote Law Practice as part of his law firm’s Disaster Recovery Protocol since 2005. When the pandemic hit, he won a trial in court one day and Remote Law Practice protocols were implemented in less than 12 hours.