As of midnight yesterday, the U.S. government has been shut down indefinitely until Congress can come to an agreement on a budget. An agreement was not reached because Republicans will not approve a stop-gap measure unless ObamaCare is defunded, and Democrats refuse to block the money for the Affordable Care Act. Until one side relents or the two can come to a compromise, the government will be in a state of shutdown. This shutdown has implications in almost every area you can think of, so it is only appropriate to ask the question: "Will the government shutdown affect my criminal case?"
According to a report by NBC News,
Federal courts would continue operating normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown, roughly until the middle of October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary may have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases would continue to be heard.
So what does this mean? Criminal cases will continue to be heard, but how efficiently they are handled is what might be affected should the shutdown continue for more than ten days. The last government shutdown happened 17 years ago, and another one not long before that. One lasted for five days while the other went on for three weeks. The longer Congress allows this shutdown to continue, the greater the implications for federal programs, including federal courts and the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the Justice Department, while many civil cases will likely be suspended until Congress agrees on a budget, "criminal litigation will continue without interruption." If you have additional questions or concerns about this shutdown and how it could affect your federal criminal case, please do not hesitate to contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Martinian & Associates Inc. today.