The statewide Judicial Emergency now-retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton enacted expired June 30 but, with concern about the spread of new and particularly contagious COVID-19 variants growing, several metro Atlanta area courts have pushed back the dates by which criminal cases involving defendants who have filed speedy trial demands must be tried.

Under Georgia’s law, a defendant who files a speedy trial demand must have his case tried during the current term of court or the next one, or the charges must be dismissed. The deadlines for filing such demands and trying those cases were tolled during the statewide emergency, but individual circuits were allowed to extend them if necessary.