Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

The COVID-19 Virus And Your Rights

The COVID-19 Virus And Your Rights

Until further notice, there are no in-person Superior Court and Municipal Court proceedings. As many matters as possible including case management conferences, pleas motions to be released, sentences and hearings will be handled by telephone or video conference.

This is part of the Judiciary’s social distancing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. Contact Jill Cohen, or the Court if you have any questions about your case.

If you are being held pending trial under the bail reform act, please note that the courts are automatically extending the time to be indicted or to go to trial.  The Criminal Justice Act includes excludable time within the act so the courts are automatically extending release deadlines. Each case is different so call Ms. Cohen’s office if you have individual questions.  Even if you are not a current client, Ms. Cohen will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Court offices also are closed for in-person submissions. Filings may be submitted electronically and many deadlines to file will be eased. If your family member has a documented illness, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma, Ms. Cohen can apply to the court to have that individual released pending trial or pending sentence. You will not be released automatically so if you are not sure, call Ms. Cohen’s Office. 

Also, your rights to appeal and your rights to post-conviction relief are not suspended.  You can continue to file those motions, file your appeals, and get decisions from the appellate courts.  It is important to preserve your rights even through this pandemic.

If you are almost finished serving your sentence or are awaiting a decision to be placed on ISP, you may be eligible for release.  It is unknown as to when the courts will re-open as gathering in public places are a danger to many of us. Many of the elderly could more easily contract the COVID Virus so it is important to try to get your matter resolved via a video conference. Each courtroom, courthouse, and judge have different policies so call for further advice.

For more information about COVID-19 coronavirus, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/ or NJ.gov/health or call the 24-hour public hotline at 1-800-222-1222