It seems like the media can report on little else than the COVID 19 or “Coronavirus” as of late.
While there are genuine concerns about how the virus will affect us, the ordinary flu is something lawyers who handle cases on the Outer Banks deal with every year.
Continuances and getting a case continued due to illnesses is part of what we do as defense attorneys. If you’re a client and get sick with COVID 19 or even the flu, we recommend you call the office right away – Danny Glover, OBX Criminal Defense Lawyer
DWI charges, felony allegations, and a fair number of misdemeanor charges in Tyrell, Hyde, and Martin may require in-person court appearances.
At the same time, things happen. People get sick
And as such, there are times when we may be able to work with the local District Attorneys, coordinating calendaring with the presiding judge, in having matters continued.
Having said that, you should not assume cases are automatically continued because of illnesses.
Unfortunately, there are some instances when Orders for Arrest or “OFA” may not be recalled if issued without proper documentation of adverse medical conditions.
We strongly recommend you immediately retain legal counsel if you have pending criminal charges.
There are times when your attorney may be able to appear on your behalf with a Written Waiver of Appearance.
Some legal matters require appearances in court. Other cases may, in appropriate circumstances, be handled by your attorney in abstentia (in your absence).
Felony charges, many misdemeanors, and DWI charges may necessitate appearing in court.
It’s also important to understand that each judicial district and Office of the District Attorney may have preferred procedures and protocols for court appearances.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that the policy regarding continuances in Dare County is the same as in Wake or Mecklenburg County.
What should I do if I missed court?
If you missed court on a traffic ticket, the Clerk of Court may issue something called an “FTA” or Failure to Appear.
That can result in an eventual license suspension by the NC DMV (North Carolina Department of Transportation / Division of Motor Vehicles).
Of course, certain legal matters with mandatory court appearances, if missed, can also result in the issuance of “legal process” or something criminal lawyers may refer to as an “OFA” or “Order for Arrest.”
Orders for Arrest, while similar, are technically different from a Warrant for Arrest.
We strongly recommend you retain legal representation if there exists a Warrant for your arrest, an Order for Arrest, and even a Failure to Appear.
If you have DWI charges on the Outer Banks, or some other serious felony charge or misdemeanor offense, missing court is at best problematic – Danny Glover, Criminal Defense Lawyer OBX
It may be possible to “set aside” or “recall an Order for Arrest.”
Some jurisdictions in North Carolina, like Charlotte, call that, “Striking an Order for Arrest.”
Again, it’s important to understand that each judicial district is different.
Just because a case was continued in another jurisdiction, that does not necessarily mean you should expect the same result somewhere else.
Cases, like clients, are different.
Advance planning and not waiting until the last minute can help.
With enough time and proper documentation, there are instances when cases may be continued by consent.
That may necessitate a conference with the ADA (Assistant District Attorney), the Judge, and your criminal defense attorney.
How do I get my case continued?
Continuances are not automatic.
For example, if you call the District Attorney for Dare, Currituck, Gates, Camden, Perquimans, Chowan County NC, and Pasquotank the recorded message states in relevant part, “. . .[Y]ou must appear in court, in-person to request court date continuances.”
That may not always work, especially if you are very sick with the flu, the COVID 19 virus, are in the hospital or are contagious.
Continuances are generally handled depending on the nature and circumstances of the offense, considering whether the matter has been continued in the past – Danny Glover, Outer Banks Lawyer
Our preferred policy is to address scheduling conflicts and continuances due to sickness well in advance, when possible.
While we ordinarily request a doctor’s note, as it relates to the COVID 19 (Coronavirus), medical professionals DO NOT RECOMMEND you go to the Emergency Room or Doctor’s Office without first calling.
Medical service providers now request you CALL IN ADVANCE if you believe you have been infected with the Coronavirus.
In fact, if you experience any flu symptoms, given the present inability to distinguish between the flu and the Coronavirus without formal testing, medical service providers on the Outer Banks may prefer you to call first.
As it relates to court appearances and getting your case continued, the more advance notice provided to the Court the better.
Waiting until the last minute to address a scheduling issue or conflict makes the possibility of a continuance more difficult.
That may be difficult at best if you are very ill.
If that’s the case, we recommend you have a friend or family member call our law office to discuss options.
Even if you’re not sick and maybe just forgot court, we recommend you address the issuance of an Order for Arrest or Failure to Appear without delay.
Hoping nothing happens or ignoring Warrants for Arrests, OFA – Orders for Arrest, and FTA’s Failure to Appear just isn’t a good idea – Danny Glover
Call Danny Glover NOW to discuss your legal options: 252-299-5300
You may also reach Danny Glover Jr. by email: Danny@DannyGloverLawFirm.com
We truly hope you and your family do not get sick during this time of uncertainty about the COVID 19 virus.
Obviously, it remains to be seen how the Coronavirus and even the flu will affect the court system in northeastern North Carolina.
If you are subject to a voluntary quarantine, as imposed by your doctor and/or the NC DHHS (Department of Health and Human Resources), with proper documentation your criminal charges may be subject to a continuance or other extraordinary consideration by the Court.
While we hope for the best, as defense lawyers we must be prepared for extended court closures.
If courts are closed, matters will be re-set by the Clerk of Court.
In the event you cannot come to court and courts are open, we believe it makes sense to retain a local Outer Banks lawyer.
We may be able to address continuing your case in the appropriate circumstances. Don’t wait. Call now – Danny Glover
What’s the best way to kill the COVID virus?
According to the NC DHHS website, one of the best ways to prevent infection by the COVID 19 virus is this: Wash Your Hands.
Take at least 20 seconds to lather up.
Use warm water.
Do not touch doors, faucets, or anything else after washing your hands.
Try to avoid touching your face.
Lawyers who handle criminal charges on the Outer Banks of NC – Glover Law Firm
If you face DWI charges or some other felony offense on the Outer Banks, Danny Glover provides a free, confidential consultation.
Check out our website resources on the following topics:
- Can I get my DWI charges thrown out?
- What happens if I have a Warrant?
- What does “Indicted” mean?
- How are Juvenile Court charges handled?
- NC DHHS COVID Virus information and updates