How Covid-19 Has Changed Dealing With Criminal Charges

Jospeh Fera Law Office |


During the pandemic, while most companies were moving to remote working or finding ways they would adapt so they could get their work done and meet their targets, there were challenges with lockdowns and curfews. Companies were finding ways they could connect remotely and finding processes they could get their clients on board. A lot of the courts had to follow the new rules and had to find ways they could work remotely. It was challenging because many lawyers were older and could not adjust to the changes.

There were many changes that everyone had to adapt to. The initial stages of the pandemic were challenging, but after a few months, everyone got used to them and were getting through the process with ease. If we had to predict the new and upcoming changes, we would assume that we do not see much changing. Criminal appearances continue to be conducted by Zoom video. Many trials and hearings continue to be conducted by Zoom video with the consent of the accused. Jury trials are backlogged. We also noticed that clients and lawyers were getting used to some of the changes, and we did not see them going back.

Additionally, the COVID pandemic delayed many criminal cases, but the criminal courts continue to operate. Proceedings and other changes were pushed forward, and with the new systems, courts and other institutions could not function at the same pace that they were working in the past. For the most part, they were functioning virtually and remotely, which took some time to get used to, and pushed and rescheduled some of their meetings and hearings.

We had to change the way that we were coordinating with our clients. We continue to meet with clients in person, but we have to make sure they are open to the meetings. However, we conduct meetings by telephone or video on request, and where an in-person meeting is not necessary. For the most part, we get most of what we do remotely. We would not force any of our clients to meet us in person, and if they were open to an in-person meeting, we would make sure that we could get through those as well. They had to follow all the rules and mandates to keep themselves and us safe, so everyone was getting through the process with ease. 

When it comes to our work, we get it done from our office space. As mentioned earlier, no one is forced to come in to work, and we are open to clients working remotely to get through processes. While there were so many changes taking place, we thought that we could maintain the same working hours because we did not want our clients to have a tough time finding us or connecting with the office and us to be off for the day. WE maintained the same working hours, and we were, to some extent, working overtime on some of the days in our capacity because we were trying to catch up with the changes taking place.

However, there are some ups and downs when it comes to working from the office. None of them are challenges, and we work with an efficient team that goes to great lengths to get the best results and output. For the most part, there are no restrictions from our end, and we make sure our clients follow the rules put up by the Government to make sure everyone is on the same page. We have a team that comes in and handles the cleaning of the place. We also make sure that there are sanitizers, people wear masks, and maintain social distance.

If there were processes that we were using in the past, and they were working for us, we thought that it would be best that we do not make any changes to them. We use outlook and the Microsoft office platform for emails. We have found it to be one of the most secure servers that would assist with processes so we can get through the process with ease.

With all the restrictions raised, we meet clients in the office for the most part. There are other changes to get through, and we are pushing ourselves to get through those processes. We seem to be getting as close to the way things were before the pandemic, and are encouraging our clients to meet us in person because it was a lot easier to get things done. However, some would not want to meet in person and had their apprehensions that they would be sick. We connect with them through video conference or by telephone on request when it makes sense.

We continue to conduct in-person trials of criminal matters where our clients instruct us to. There are benefits to in-person trials missed during the pandemic. You can see witnesses and their surroundings as they testify, much of which is lost by video conference.

If you are looking for a trusted Criminal Lawyer in Guelph, ON, connect with us at Joseph Fera Law Office. After serving the community for more than two decades, we have a pretty decent understanding of how criminal law works. We also ask all the questions to have all the information before jumping to the conclusion. If you want to understand our services better, please click here. If you are looking to connect with us or think that we can assist with a requirement that you have, please click here.