Florida Speedy Trial
Defendant’s charged with any crime in Florida have the right to a speedy trial. Both the US Constitution (6th Amendment) and the Florida Constitution (Article I, Section 16) guarantee that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury in the county where the crime occurred.
The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure establishes the timelines for a Speedy Trial in criminal cases. Although, it is not used as often, here is also a speedy trial for civil cases.
In Florida misdemeanor cases, the State has 90-days from arrest to bring case to trial to comply with speedy trial
In Florida felony cases, the State has 175-days from arrest to the case to trial to comply with speedy trial.
A defendant is entitled to a speedy trial whether in custody or released pending trial. And the running of speedy trial is automatic without demand or notice by either the state or the defendant.
The starting line for Florida speedy trial occurs when a person is first in custody. Custody starts when there is either an arrest or a citation called a Notice to Appear is issued.
Speedy Trial Procedure
Even though speedy trial begins to run as soon as a defendant is placed in custody, the defendant must take action to enforce the deadlines. The defendant can waive speedy trial violations if no action is taken.
Florida Speedy Trial violations are not automatic in favor of the defendant.
Demand for Speedy Trial in Florida
When a Speedy Trial is demanded, then any person charged with a crime by indictment or information (formal filing document charging a person with a crime), shall have the right to demand a trial within 60 days of the demand. The defendant must file a separate pleading called a Demand for Speedy Trial. That demand must be served on the State.
The Court must calendar a hearing within 5 days of receipt of the demand. The court must set the trial between 5 and 45 days of that hearing.
If the trial does not happen within 50 days of the Demand, then the defendant must file another pleading called a Notice of Expiration of Speedy Trial Time (“Notice”).
Expiration of Speedy Trial
Within 5 days of the filing of the Notice, the Court must hold another hearing and set the trial within 10 days. If the defendant is not brought to trial within 10 days, through no fault of the Defendant, then the court shall dismiss the case.
Commencement of Trial
Trial is considered to have commenced when the jury panel is sworn for voir dire or before the court for a bench trial.
Waiver of Speedy Trial
The Defendant or counsel can waive speedy trial. In some cases, especially when a client is out of custody, it can be to the Defendant’s advantage to waive speedy trial to conduct a thorough investigation of the case. Some cases need to be pushed forward as quickly as possible as an advantage against the State. But Each case is different.
Why Should You Hire an Experienced Trial Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer that has actual experience in handling speedy trial issues in Florida may be the difference between a permanent record, incarceration, or a dismissal of your charges. I have personally handled thousands of these types of cases, both as a prosecutor and a defense lawyer.
As a defense attorney, I have drafted and argued motions that have resulted in actual dismissals of all charges against my clients based on Speedy Trial violations.
I have successfully handled speedy trial issues throughout Sarasota, and Manatee counties in Florida.
Contact Me Immediately for a free consultation if you have been charged with a crime in Florida and you think you have speedy trial issues. Let my experience handling these cases from both sides of the aisle assist you in preparing your best defense.