Right to a Speedy Trial

orange county criminal processes

In the United States, a speedy trial is a constitutional right protected by the Sixth Amendment. The state of Florida also has further defined this in law by demanding all persons facing charges are brought to trial within a specific period after their arrest. If a person waives their right to a speedy trial, this does not apply. If you have not waived your right to a speedy trial, that is what you should get from the criminal justice system.

Time Limits for Speedy Trials

Currently, Florida law requires defendants to be brought to trial within 90 days if charged with a misdemeanor offense, and 175 days if accused of a felony. There are some circumstances not included in the time calculations of a speedy trial. These instances could cause the date of trial to exceed state guidelines, so it’s crucial one has a reliable attorney by their side to help mitigate delays as much as possible.

Factors that could potentially delay a trial include:

  • Filing of motions
  • Negotiated delays
  • Unavailability of the defendant
  • Lack of counsel for the defendant

Violations of Speedy Trial Rights

During the criminal court process, defendants may experience unnecessary delays that unconstitutionally prevent them from a speedy trial. When determining if a violation occurred or not, the defendant’s legal team must review the circumstances and prove the defendant’s right to a speedy trial has been violated. These four situations may need evidence to win a claim of this type:

  • How long the delay has lasted
  • Cause for the delay
  • Hardship brought on the defendant by the delay
  • Evidence the defendant has already demanded a speedy trial

The circumstances surrounding a defendant’s case will determine if there is a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

How Soon Do Speedy Trial Rights Begin?

From the moment an individual is arrested and has charges filed, s/he has the right to a speedy trial. This means that the government must immediately get to work and bring the case to trial. Until the initial arrest and charges get filed, one’s right to a speedy trial has not begun.

Can I Demand a Public Trial?

Yes. Under the Sixth Amendment, any criminal facing felony charges or authorities have already jailed awaiting trial, has the right to a public trial. Unless the defendant waives his or her right to this trial, the media and the public may attend.

Public trials put pressure on the court to give special care to their constitutional responsibilities and offer the defendants a sense of additional protection of their rights because the entire process is on public display. The only exception to this situation is if there are dangers to the public or parties involved in the case.

Hire an Experienced Orlando Criminal Attorney

It’s critical to understand how to demand your right to a speedy trial because courts require specific language when submitting a request. An experienced criminal defense attorney will not only correctly follow necessary procedures to do so, but also assist when facing delays that draw out your case longer than constitutionally allowed.

If you have experienced delays in your case, The Umansky Law Firm is here to protect your rights and confront the court directly. We have over 100 years of combined experience and as former prosecutors, know how trials get delayed and have experience dealing with this issue. Contact us today at (407) 228-3838 to learn about your rights under the Sixth Amendment and how it affects your case if violated.