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San Antonio Criminal Lawyers & Courts New COVID Rules

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San Antonio Lawyers Announce COVID Health and Safety Policy Per Bexar County Executive Order
June 19, 2020

On June 15th the Bexar County Operating Plan went into effect. The Plan, as it relates to the criminal district courts, provides that only some courts will be in session for essential in-person hearings each day of the week. The Plan also provides that all hearings should be conducted remotely where possible.

“Courts will continue to use all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely.  If it is not feasible to handle a proceeding remotely and the court deems the proceeding essential, then the court may hold a hybrid proceeding (combination of in-person and remote) or may hold an in-person proceeding.”  (Bexar County COVID Operating Plan pg. 3)

However, if a Court must have an in-person hearing, it may do so on the Court’s designated Session Day. The courts’ session days are as follows:

Additionally, each district court is permitted one “jail docket day” every 2 weeks. Only on that day will the court be able to conduct in-person hearings with inmates from the jail. Even then, the courts are only allowed 5 inmates on their jail docket day if it has determined that the hearing cannot be held remotely (by videoconference/Zoom). The jail docket day schedule is as follows:

These protective measures were put in place to reduce the number of people coming to the courthouse and risking exposure to COVID-19. The State required that each county in the State to submit a plan as part of the process to allow courts to have limited in person hearings. The full Bexar County COVID Operating Plan can be accessed here. If you have any specific questions or concerns you should contact the Court for more information.