If you or a loved one is currently being held in a county jail, you may have an opportunity to seek being released. Due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic, many courts and law enforcement agencies are taking steps to decrease their jail population and release at-risk inmates.
Many counties around the State of Ohio are taking proactive steps to minimize the exposure of their inmates and protect at-risk individuals. An example of this can be seen right here in Cincinnati. On March 20th, 2020, the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas provided Sheriff Jim Neil with the authority to release inmates from the Hamilton County Jail. This action was in an effort to decrease the jail population and prevent the virus from infiltrating the county jail.
Who is Being Released from Jail?
You or your loved one may be able to seek release from jail because of the Corona Virus. Many jails are releasing non-violent, low-level offenders and inmates who are most “at-risk” for catching the Corona Virus. Low-level offenses could include, but are not limited to, traffic cases, child support, and even low-level drug offenses. Further, jail medical staff are working to identify at-risk inmates and prioritize their release. Inmates who are elderly or have auto-immune issues are all considered at-risk. Lastly, it is notable that judges are also attempting to keep new inmates out of jail. If you or a loved one have a new case in the justice system, it is important that you hire an experienced attorney who can advocate for an OR or low cash bond to keep you out of jail.
How Can Someone Be Released from Jail Because of COVID-19?
Unfortunately, there is no formal process for an inmate to seek their release from jail because of COVID-19. This process entails a defense lawyer reaching out to the prosecutor in regard to your current bond or sentence. If the prosecutor and your attorney can agree upon a new sentence, one that doesn’t include jail, this may allow you to be released from jail. If your defense lawyer and the prosecutor can agree on releasing you from jail, this agreement is presented to the judge. It is the judge who will have the final say on whether your circumstances allow you to be released from custody. Having an attorney to represent you when seeking your release is important, as sometimes the judge will require a formal motion to be filed.
If you or someone you know is incarcerated in a county jail and is seeking their release because of COVID-19, please call our criminal team. We at Rittgers & Rittgers would be happy to speak with you about the case and your ability to seek release. For a free consultation, please call 513-932-2115.