In an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, courts throughout the State closed to the public with the exception of emergency matters. Ventura County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kent M. Kellegrew issued an administrative order extending the closure of local courts from April 15 through May 12, 2020, except for essential emergency matters and time-sensitive, essential functions.
To balance the need of safeguarding the public and court staff from the ongoing pandemic and the necessity of protecting a defendant's right to due process, the court is now allowing private attorneys to make appearances for criminal cases over the phone or through the use of remote technology like Zoom.
Ridley Defense is proud to hold court appearances over Zoom for the sake of our clients’ safety during this pandemic. By representing clients online, we are sparing them from exposure in a crowded courthouse and prioritizing their well-being. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to contact Ridley Defense today to discuss your legal options.
Penal Code 977 allows an attorney to appear on behalf of their client in many cases. An accused may agree to their counsel, making court appearances on their behalf by verbal agreement or signing a "Waiver of Defendant's Personal Appearance," depending on the case.
The court closures do not limit a person's right to counsel or their constitutional due process rights. The current health crisis has required courts to modify their procedures and policies to continuously operate without endangering the public, court staff, judges, and attorneys. Remote technology has proven effective in allowing defense attorneys to continue representing their clients while adhering to shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines.
Ridley Defense founder Attorney Doug Ridley has represented clients via telephone and through video conferencing utilizing Zoom. As the President of the Ventura County Criminal Defense Bar Association, he is helping to inform local counsel on the availability of virtual and telephonic appearances. While the Ventura County Superior Court has taken the critical step of allowing defense attorneys to appear telephonically and via Zoom, there is a protocol to follow. In addition to filing a waiver of personal appearance, an official request must be made to the court for a telephonic or other remote appearance.
If you are facing criminal charges in Ventura County, you still need an attorney. The court closures do not mean that the charges will be automatically delayed or dismissed. At Ridley Defense, we are available to meet virtually and provide a complimentary consultation.
We continue to be committed to providing unparalleled legal representation for our clients during these difficult times, and are pleased to further protect our clients’ safety via telephonic appearances. Please stay safe and feel free to contact our offices at 805.208.1866 today to discuss your options.