The coronavirus pandemic has placed people arrested and those with loved ones who have been arrested in a very difficult situation. It may be tougher than usual to visit someone in jail or even get into the jail at all. This pandemic has caused public entities to drastically adjust their policies and procedures. It is important to understand that the courts are not closed and it is still possible to petition a court to get your loved one out of jail.
The right to have access to the courts after arrest is fundamental to our judicial system. One exercises the right to judicial review of their incarceration by filling a petition called a Writ of Habeas Corpus. This petition has a Latin name because it is old, very old. In English Common Law, it predates even Magna Carta and has been essential to our legal system for over eight-hundred years. This right is recognized in United State’s Constitution and it can only be suspended by an act of congress and only in situations of “rebellion or invasion.”
This brief history lesson is meant to convey that the state cannot just close access to the courts and leave you locked up in jail because they are afraid of getting sick. If you have been arrested and given no bond or an excessive bond, you can still contest your detention. The coronavirus pandemic has not put an end to your civil liberties. If you would like advice on how to get your loved one out of jail during this difficult time, please give us a call.