Speedy Trial Denial
The right to a speedy trial is protection derived from several potential sources in each state. The very minimum protection in every state, however, is derived from the United States Constitution. This right is especially important for people who are currently incarcerated but can apply to citizens who are not incarcerated.
Unreasonable delay is a violation of the “due process” provision in the Fifth Amendment and is applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment; this addresses “State action,” encompassing municipal, county, and state law enforcement officers and their actions.
Each state may also have its own statute and/or constitutional provision limiting the time an accused person may be held in custody before trial (e.g. 45 days). Some states like Georgia and Michigan have an excellent statutory right to a speedy trial plus a Georgia Constitution right to a prompt trial, while others have no rights beyond what is guaranteed to you by the United States Constitution.
When a proper written demand for speedy trial is filed, criminal charges must be totally dismissed and the defendant will be released from any further legal obligation where the delay was caused by the Government. However, defendants often waive the right to a speedy trial in order to have additional time to prepare a stronger defense. If you are free on bail, to utilize a speedy trial demand may not be the best case – since you are not in jail. In many DUI-DWI cases, local court calendars may be clogged and your DWI-DUI lawyer may advise you to not for one since it’s delay can be a strategic maneuver.
How a good DUI lawyer can prove the trial delay
When a large amount of time has passed before the State charged you with a crime, or after being indicted or accused where the process of getting trial has been too slow due to state actions – your DUI attorney might be able to get you misdemeanor drunk driving charges and your homicide by vehicle felony charges dropped.
This type of “speedy trial” challenge is based on a “constitutional” denial of speedy trial. Four critical facts need to be shown by your DWI-DUI attorney:
1. The length of the delay
2. That the delay was caused by the State and not by your side
3. That you asked for a prompt trial through a written filing with the court
4. That your ability to defend the case has been negatively impacted harmed or compromised in some way
One’s right to a speedy trial can be lost through a defective or untimely filing of the demand by your criminal defense lawyer. Courts are protective of the criminal justice system when it appears that “manipulation” of court guidelines, forgiving notice has occurred. This is yet another reason to have a seasoned DUI-DWI lawyer representing you. Only the most experienced DWI-DUI lawyers know when to press for a speedy trial and the multiple ways to expedite your trial – or receive a discharge and acquittal (total dismissal) when the prosecutor or judge or both fail to act upon such notices.