Will You Get Coronavirus If You Go To Jail?

Will You Get Coronavirus If You Go To Jail?

by Jun 4, 2020

Sonoma County criminal court proceedings are resuming this week, which means cases that were on hiatus during the coronavirus lockdown will resume soon. For those who are awaiting trial or sentencing, one of the biggest fears is the risk of contracting coronavirus if sentenced to jail time. Is there anything to worry about?

What’s Happened So Far

The good news is that the courts, in consultation with health officials, DA’s office, and defense attorneys, have been proactive over the last couple of months to reduce the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak in county jails. Beginning in mid March, over two hundred inmates who had been jailed for non-violent crimes and were near the end of their sentences were released.

The courts also agreed to expand releases for inmates booked on new misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence. Those convicted of DUIs were instead allowed to complete their sentences through home confinement.

Finally, Sonoma County justice partners (comprised of the courts, DA’s office and criminal defense bar) asked local officers to cite and release suspects arrested on suspicion of most misdemeanors, with the exception of people suspected of crimes such as domestic violence, or with warrants out for their arrest.

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Are New Inmates At Risk?

Currently, there have been no publicly reported cases of coronavirus at either of Sonoma County’s two adult detention facilities. This means that, in concert with the county’s efforts to reduce the overall inmate population, the risk of contracting coronavirus for current and new inmates is very low.

Testing for COVID-19 is also being expanded at a much faster pace, and anyone sentenced to jail time will likely be tested for coronavirus prior to being admitted into the general jail population.

What Your Attorney Can Do

If you are currently awaiting trial or sentencing and are concerned about contracting coronavirus, you should speak with your attorney. Depending on the severity of the crime you have been charged with or convicted of, and the sentence you receive, you may qualify for an alternate form of punishment that doesn’t include going to jail.

Your attorney can help you understand what options are available to you (if any) and address any concerns you have with the judge in your case. To learn more, please contact our office for a free phone consultation.


At Quinnan Law, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 540-2356.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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