In the context of criminal proceedings, there are a number of Constitutional protections designed to keep defendants from being overrun by the state. The broadest, most helpful of those tools lies in the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the right to a fair trial. With this amendment, there are requirements that the government provide every person with an attorney and that trials are generally conducted in a manner that is balanced. There is also a provision guaranteeing to people the right of a speedy trial. Because the ability to mount a defense can erode over time, a trial can only be fair when it is speedy. People charged with crimes should always been in touch with a good lawyer, and if it’s been a long time between arrest and trial, they may have a speedy trial claim.
The speedy trial rule generally
The Sixth Amendment generally guarantees that the government will bring a person to trial in a quick and efficient manner. What this means depends on the situation. There is no set amount of time in which the government must bring a person to trial. However, the courts have been willing to grant defendants relief if the government takes too long to bring the person to trial. In general, once a person has been waiting around for two years or more, they have the potential win on a speedy trial claim.
Why the speedy trial claim exists
Mounting a defense in a criminal case can be difficult. People need access to witness testimony, to physical evidence and to a host of other things that might persuade a jury. Likewise, the memory of the defendant can erode over time. When a big chunk of a person’s legal defense depends on his ability to remember details about the day or night or a crime, having a trial delay can cause real problems over the long run. Speedy trial rules are meant to protect the integrity of the process.
In addition, the speedy trial rule is based on the idea that no person should have to either wait in custody for a trial or wait under the looming uncertainty of a coming trial. The system works well when issues go in front of a court for resolution. If people are guilty, then they should begin serving their sentences. If they are not guilty, then they should be cleared of the crime and given an opportunity to have a normal life once again.
The factors that determine when a person’s speedy trial rights have been violated
In general, the court will use a balancing test to determine whether a person has suffered a breach of his or her speedy trial rights. The most important factor is the length of time. The longer the government delays, the more likely a person is to win his claim. In addition, the court will try to ascertain who was at fault for the delay. In general, it is the government’s obligation to bring a person to trial because he cannot bring himself to trial. However, in scenarios where a defendant delays the process by asking for continuances or changing lawyers, he is less likely to win one of these claims.
In addition, the court will weigh whether a person has been in custody. A person sitting in jail waiting on trial has suffered worse than one who is out on bail. An increasingly important factor is whether a person attempts to exercise his right to a speedy trial. Letters or attempts by a defendant or his lawyer to speed up the process work heavily in his favor. Finally, the court will ask whether a person has suffered prejudice because of the delay. The extent to which key evidence is gone or people have died will help determine whether a person has been harmed by the delay.
Speedy trial violation remedies
One of the best things about a speedy trial claim is that there exists only one remedy the court can issue. Because it is no longer possible for a person to have a fair trial, the court will always command the lower courts to dismiss the case. The charges must be dropped, and the person must be released from custody.
If you have been arrested and are facing a life-altering trial, having a good lawyer is a big help. Some lawyers are adept at helping to ensure your rights, including the speedy trial right. Having one of your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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