Does the right to a speedy trial impact my criminal case?

| May 25, 2021 | Criminal Law

When a person is arrested in Georgia, the allegations, the potential penalties and how it might affect their lives will all come to the forefront. This could obscure potentially effective areas of a defense. Certain factors like the right to a speedy trial could take on greater importance than initially thought.

Key details about a speedy trial

The right to a speedy trial is set forth in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “Speedy” does not mean “fast.” However, it does mean that the trial is required to take place in a reasonable time frame. There is no specific rule as to when that must be. Since it is so open to interpretation, it can be a justification for defendants to assert their rights were violated.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the speedy trial argument could be used to claim that the defendant was treated unfairly. The reasons include the duration of the delay, why the delay happened, the defendant saying that he or she had a right to a speedy trial and the defendant facing prejudice. A law – the Speedy Trial Act – was passed by Congress giving 70 days from the indictment. The defendant can waive the right to speedy trial during the criminal law proceedings. For some, waiving the right to a speedy trial can be helpful as it gives more time to analyze the circumstances of the case and craft an stronger defense.

Using the speedy trial requirement as part of a defense

In a criminal proceeding, the merits of the evidence and the prosecution are only part of the process. Failure to adhere to the person’s rights to a speedy trial could be used to fight the charges. To determine the preferable path, having experienced legal representation can be essential.