Why A Delay In Trial Doesn't Automatically Translate To A Violation Of Your Right To A Speedy Trial

Posted on: 2 October 2017

You probably know that every criminal suspect has the right to a speedy trial and a violation of the same can lead to dismissal of charges. However, dismissal of charges due to this violation isn't common because there are exceptions that allow the government to continue with your case even after a lengthy delay.  For example, the court may find that your right to a speedy trial wasn't violated if:

The Delay Was Occasioned By an Essential Issue

The cause of the delay is instrumental in determining whether it violated your right to speedy trial or not. Generally, the court is likely to find that your right was violated if the delay was occasioned by trivial issues from the government's side (such as court or prosecution). However, a delay occasioned by an unavoidable issue or by a vital part of the process doesn't violate your right to a speedy trial. For example, the court may find that your right wasn't violated if it happened because the prosecution was busy looking for a crucial witness with key testimony to the case.

You Did Not Complain

You don't keep silent for a year only to start complaining about your right to speedy trial. If you want your application to be taken seriously, then you must have been issuing regular assertions throughout the delay. For example, a suspect who has been complaining of delays every couple of months or so is likely to be taken seriously by the court compared to a suspect who has never made a complaint for a year or so.

The Delay Has Not Affected Your Case

You have a good chance of convincing the court that your right to speedy trial has been violated if you can show that the delay has adversely affected your case. Conversely, you have a hard task ahead of you winning such an application if the initial circumstances (when you were charged) still apply. Consider a case where your trial has been delayed and some of your key witnesses have died or you have lost some vital evidence. In such a case, the delay has clearly affected your case negatively and your case of violation of your right to a speedy trial has some weight.

Therefore, don't expect your case to be dismissed because your trial has delayed for a long time. The dismissal is possible, but it is much better to approach your case from all angles just in case the approach doesn't succeed. Contact a DUI attorney for more information and assistance. 


Staying Out Of Trouble

About a year ago, I realized that I was starting to bend the rules a little when I was out in public with my friends. I was really nervous about getting caught, so I started thinking more carefully about what I was doing and why I was doing it. However, one night, I decided to go streaking, and I was arrested. I realized that I needed to work with a criminal attorney to get the help that I needed, and I sat down with them to go over the details of my case. After a long and arduous court case, I had learned my lesson and stayed out of jail. This blog is all about staying out of trouble in the first place and knowing how to prevent problems in your personal life.