50 Days of Coronavirus
Earlier this year, we had all heard about the coronavirus. What was concerning when we heard it for the first time is that we did not know the direction this virus would take and what measures our State and Federal Governments would impose.
On the 18th of March 2020, the virus which many of us were uncertain about became a very real and serious issue. It was from this date and onwards we started to see new restrictions and recognise that this virus not only have the ability to endanger lives, but impact our way of life both socially and economically.
We have seen waves of new restrictions put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus. As a result, it has been necessary for us to adapt to new measures imposed and reapply those measures in the way we do business.
As criminal lawyers, today marks the 50th day for the coronavirus pandemic. It was 50 days ago that we attended our last call over in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. Much like the State and Federal Governments, the Courts have also implemented an array of measures to reduce the spread of this virus.
These measures have meant representing clients by way of email, telephone and/or through video conferencing. In rare circumstances, we have also appeared in court. This has allowed the wheels of justice to keep on turning, as they say. Ensuring that matters are progressed, we have seen and been able to do the following:
- Prioritise matters where clients are eligible for release;
- Apply to have judge only trials, where a jury may not be required;
- Conduct pre-trial applications and bail applications in court; and
- Seek administrative adjournments.
Currently, matters are being adjourned for a period of about three months in the Magistrates Court. While there is limited representation in court for these matters, progress continues between our firm, Police Prosecutions and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. We are able to progress matters by requesting evidence, writing submissions and negotiating matters.
We have also had a significant amount of enquiries of people who have been charged with criminal offences. We have been able to provide people with advice by telephone, video conference and in our conference room where we have implemented social distancing.
Even if restrictions ease, it is our forecast that the measures implemented by the courts and how we do business is likely to remain the same for the next 50 days.
Accordingly, if you have been charged with a criminal offence, it is still important that you obtain legal advice. The more time a criminal lawyer has to prepare for your matter, whether it be for negotiations, sentencing or taking it trial, the better position you will be in.
Our firm continues to offer a free case appraisal to anyone charged with a criminal offence in Queensland. If this applies to you, do not hesitate to give us a call on (07) 3188 5765.