Criminal Arrests and Procedures in Detroit During the COVID PandemicMay 13, 2020, by Criminal Defense in
When the COVID-19 global pandemic reached Detroit in early March, the city’s police department encouraged officers to relax their approach to misdemeanor offenses to slow the spread of the virus. In the early months of the pandemic, between that policy and stay at home orders, statistics indicate Detroit’s crime rate declined by 22%.
Even after civil rights protests related to the murder of George Floyd and reducing jail populations, crime statistics have generally remained lower overall statewide, the Bridge reported. According to data provided by the State Court Administrative Office, new criminal filings in circuit courts were down 50% in March and April and 34% in May and June, compared to the same months last year.
In Detroit, police reported in late July a small increase in homicides but a decrease in property crimes. Overall, police estimated an overall reduction in crime of 8.6%. Despite Wayne County emptying nearly 40 percent of its non-violent jail population, indicators show very few are re-offending and returning to jail.
Although there may have been fewer arrests lately, they are still occurring, and some defendants were already in the system when the pandemic began. For those currently dealing with criminal charges, or if you are arrested in the future, the experienced criminal defense lawyers of the Davis Law Group can help. Former prosecutor turned defense lawyer Maurice Davis understands the system and how to get the best outcomes possible for your criminal charges.
Impact to the Judicial System
If you’ve been arrested and jailed, you need competent counsel quickly so that you can be released as soon as possible. Not only will that reduce the chance of collateral damage to your job and reputation, but it could keep you out of a population where COVID cases are high and prevent your infection.
Courts in Detroit face serious backlogs caused by the virus. Only the most serious criminal cases have proceeded during this time of social distancing and face masks. Many satellite district courts are not open, and other courts are conducting business by Zoom.
If you have court proceedings during this time in Wayne County, it’s important to frequently check court websites or call to verify the court will be open and what hours. Your defense counsel will be checking as well. Most of the courts have updated information on COVID-19 procedures, including rules about masks and social distancing. Depending on where your proceeding is, you may even be subject to having your temperature taken prior to entry.
Given the pandemic, if your charges are less serious your case may be continued for some time. It’s vital that you stay in contact with your attorney so that you don’t miss any rescheduled proceedings. If your address, phone number, or email changes, make sure you send the update contact information to your counsel as soon as possible.
In addition to keeping current on possible proceedings, and with your contact info, remember that you won’t do yourself any favors if you get into more trouble with the law. You want to make sure that you stay away from any places, people, or things that could result in additional criminal charges. Alert the criminal defense attorneys at Davis Law Group immediately if you are arrested. Tell police or prosecutors that you are invoking your right to silence and that you are represented by counsel.
Arrested During the Pandemic? We’re Here to Help
There is no good time to face criminal charges. It is stressful any time, but during a pandemic even more so. The normal procedures and timelines have been disrupted and the inability to meet in person hinders the process. While there is nothing that can be done about COVID, there is plenty an experienced criminal attorney from the Davis Law Group can do for you. Trying to resolve your criminal matter on your own is inadvisable, especially during a pandemic. It’s just too risky.