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Can I, or my Loved One, be Released from Prison Because of the Corona Virus?

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected so many aspects of our society. Families, jobs, and even cases in the criminal justice system have been dramatically impacted by this virus. With each new day, Governor DeWine and President Trump issue new orders and directives that impact our daily lives.

The Corona Virus’ impact can be seen right here in Cincinnati. Specifically, COVID-19 has changed the way courts and law enforcement conduct business. On March 20th, the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas gave Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil the ability to release inmates from the Hamilton County Jail. While many Cincinnatians worried that this “mass release” would increase crime in this already volatile time, Sheriff Neil’s release power was limited to only non-violent, low-level offenders.

While many local jails are now releasing non-violent, low level offenders and “at-risk” inmates, this effort does not extend to inmates incarcerated in an Ohio prison. An inmate in prison generally does not qualify as a low-level offender. For this reason, seeking relief based on COVID-19 will be extraordinary difficult, if not impossible. In these times where money and access to the courts is limited, you should be cautious of a lawyer or law firm charging you a fee and telling you that they can seek your, or your loved one’s release because of COVID-19.

If you have questions about your pending case or sentence, we at Rittgers & Rittgers would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options. We will always give you an upfront, honest answer that reflects your best choices moving forward. If you would like a free consultation, regarding any criminal or traffic matter, please call us at 513-932-2115.

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