What To Know About Zoom Or "Online" Court

September 15, 2020 Written by
Zoom Court in Kitsap County Zoom Court in Kitsap County Kitsap Defense Attorney Jennifer Witt

Online court is fairly common with the new Covid regulations. For some criminal charges, certain counties are requiring defendants to appear at the courthouse but, most counties, are still wanting a zoom hearing. Better yet, there are many circumstances in which we can have Arraignment waived completely if we are hired early in the case.

 

If you are not required to appear in person, be aware that virtual court is still court. You want to look neatly groomed, dressed appropriately, and address the Judge as “Your Honor.” For most people, the following list of “don’t do” will be obvious. Since we have actually witnessed most of the following over the past few months, we decided some folks might need clarification.

 

Witt Law Group’s “What to know about Zoom court” list:

 

1.  Do not appear from your bed.
2.  Wear a shirt.
3.  Do not simultaneously play video games.
4.  Do not use the screen as your mirror (i.e. do not check your hair and makeup on the zoom screen).
5.  Do not have a pot leaf on your shirt or as your background.
6.  Do not appear via your phone while you are driving.
7.  Do not have someone in the bathroom in your background.
8.  Mute your television or radio.
9.  Do not smoke any substance.
10.  Do not eat or drink.

 

While appearing in court on your computer or phone is still a bit strange for most of us, there are some obvious benefits. You can still go to work. This allows people to avoid taking the day off and commuting. It is very efficient. You can still speak with your lawyer in a “chat room” so there is no risk of being without counsel. And, anecdotally, it seems that there are fewer sentences that require in-custody jail time.

 

If you have any questions about Zoom court or how to log into your court hearing, please give our office a call.