What is "Speedy Trial" in Florida?

When a person is arrested or charged with a crime, the law requires that the person is given a trial within a reasonable period of time. This is known as the right to a speedy trial. This is a fundamental constitutional right that is codified in Florida law. If not for this important right, the government could arrest or charge someone on flimsy facts, but still hold the person in jail while indefinitely delaying the requirement of proving the charge beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. The effect would be to allow the government to leave charged individuals to languish, while the government is under no time constraint to act.

In Florida, a person charged with a misdemeanor has a right to a speedy trial within 90 days of arrest. For a felony arrest, the law has set 175 days as a reasonable time for affording a speedy trial.

If a person is not brought to trial within the required time, the person may notify the court that the speedy trial time has expired. The court will have a hearing to determine if speedy trial has in fact expired There are many circumstances that may cause the court to find that no speedy trial violation exists. Some include a waiver of speedy trial by the defense due to not being prepared for trial, failing to appear or otherwise being unavailable. The courts, through case law, have defined many issues relating to speedy trial, such as when speedy trial begins to run, what may cause it to be waived, when the government may ask for an extension, and many others. If the court finds that speedy trial has expired, it must set the case for trial within ten days (15 days if no hearing is conducted after the defendant’s filing of the notice of expiration of speedy trial). The failure of the government to have a trial within the “recapture period” of 10-15 days will cause the court to discharge the case, upon request of the defendant.

There are no rights, laws or rules that are absolute. In order to properly ensure that your rights are being utilized to afford you a fair and speedy disposition of your case, you will need an attorney. If you are accused of a crime, contact the Orlando criminal attorneys at Longwell Lawyers for a free consultation.

Categories: Criminal Law, Articles, FAQ