Jail Video Conferencing
While the Riverside Sheriff is indicating that all facilities are still permitting attorney visits, for any number of reasons we may not want to go do a visit in the jail right now. There is a new system in place starting today that will allow us to pre-schedule a Five Minute video conference with our clients in the jail. The jails and courts are setting aside two hours for this. From 6:30 AM – 7:30 AM, the Public Defender and Conflicts Panel are doing these meetings, and from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM, private counsel will have the chance in addition to the Pubic Defenders and Conflict Panel Attorneys.
THE PURPOSE OF THESE FIVE MINUTE MEETINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TO GAIN VERBAL 977 AUTHORIZATION FOR THOSE CASES STILL WITHIN THE ORIGINAL 60 DAY WAIVER SO THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BRING YOUR CLIENT TO COURT. (ASSUMING YOUR PRELIM WILL NOT BE GOING.)
While that may open up in the future, please do not use it for check-ins or just to say what’s up.
Here’s a quick Q & A of how this works:
Q: How do I sign up?
A: No later than 2:30 PM the day before, go to the RCCDBA website and fill out the request form. It must be fully completed to work. Click here for a direct link.
Q: How do I know if I got my visit scheduled?
A: The evening before we will post a list on the RCCDBA website indicating what visits were scheduled and for what time.
Q: How do I video conference in? Can I do it from my home?
A: Sadly, no. The options available to us due to the technology are somewhat limited. You will have to go to a courtroom in Indio, Southwest, or Riverside to make the calls from court. There are alternate options being worked out such as from the VMB offices in the Riverside Bar Building, and the CDL offices in Banning and Southwest.
Bail Review for New Statewide Bail Schedule
If you don’t know yet, on Monday the Judicial Council of California imposed a new statewide bail schedule lowering many offenses to Release on Own Recognizance (OR). In light of this, we had a meeting with the court to contemplate a system to address adjusting bail appropriately for anyone affected by the changes. The court is working on a one page stipulation form and new OR form for us to use on each of our cases. A new Riverside Bail Schedule is expected to be released tomorrow morning with the accompanying court forms.
What is anticipated is that we will submit this form to the District Attorney’s office with our new proposed bail amount per the new schedule. The District Attorney will most likely be agreeing since it’s pretty much a simple math problem and they will sign the stipulation and submit it to the court. There will be a process for informally discussing disputes with the court over the phone and if that doesn’t resolve things then you can do a formal bail hearing.
If you have not reviewed the new bail schedule, I highly recommend taking a look. Click here for a copy. (See Rules 4 and 5.)
Hope everyone is staying safe out there. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Graham D. Donath, President
Riverside County Criminal Defense Bar Association