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Arrested in Florida in October 2012. Signed a speedy trial waiver. How long before charges have to be filed?

Orlando, FL |

I spoke with an attorney to review my case and since he was doing it for free , he asked me to give him a few weeks and he sent a speedy trial waiver to me which I signed . This is a misdemeanor and my 1st arrest . I am pleading innocent as I truly am innocent . I didn't retain him as my attorney because nothing has happened since the arrest . The states case is rather weak . I do know that a witness of the event was called in and gave formal testimony . My understanding is that a speedy trial waiver has to do with the 90 day window for misdemeanors and 175 for felony in regards to the actual trial after arrest , if charged . However , how long can they sit on this before deciding to drop the case or actually file charges ? It has now been over 120 days and I am still stressing about it .

The two answers are different and so maybe it is not clear. Thank you both however. The attorney was retained at the time of the speedy waiver. The arrest was for a 3rd degree misd. I waived speedy trial expecting the charge or information to get filed. I paid my bond out of pocket and have not gotten it back. I would file a demand for speedy trial but they never filed an information or charges? Can they still file or ammend the charge?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Your speedy trial clock starts ticking when you are arrested. If the charge is a misdemeanor, the state must file an information before ninety days. If the charge is a felony, they must file the information before 175 days. if that hasn't happened, they have lost jurisdiction of your case and can no longer file. The waiver you signed is irrelevant because he is not representing you. Good luck. I would contact the clerks office in the county you were arrested to confirm if the case has been in fact no infoed, or if the State Attorney is seeking to upfile it to a felony. Good luck.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for the response. I had officially retained him at the time and have since cancled the agreement. Is the state still held to the 90 and 175 day rules?

Stewart Valencia

Stewart Valencia

Posted

yes.

Asker

Posted

Mr. Valencia Thank you again for the response. There was another response that differed and I just wanted to check. Waiving speedy trial does not waive the requirement of the state to actually file the charge within 90 days?

Stewart Valencia

Stewart Valencia

Posted

Signing a waiver for your attorney does not mean you waived your speedy trial rights. The waiver allows your attorney to waive your speedy trial right at the appropriate time. If the case has not been filed yet, and he no longer is your attorney, he can't waive your right to a speedy trial.

Asker

Posted

Mr. Valencia, your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts. Unfortunately, he did file the speedy trial waiver while representing me and I have waived my right. It has been 4 and a half months and the state has not filed charges but based on my call to the state attorney's office, they are still deciding whether or not to charge. Can they just wait forever now? If they change the charge to something else, did I waive my right to a speedy trial for that charge as well. For instance, if they raised it to a 3rd degree felony, I wold never have waived my right to speedy trial for a felony. Does the waiver apply to all future charges at any time related to the case?

Stewart Valencia

Stewart Valencia

Posted

Candidly, I have no idea what your attorney did. A person cannot waive their right to a speedy trial if they haven't been charged. There is only one exception that I am aware of and that is when a juvenile is arrested and the state is considering direct filing as an adult. An attorney can then waive speedy before the minor is charged, to give himself time to change the State's mind to file the case in juvenile court. Other than that scenario, you cannot waive your right to a speedy trial before a case is filed.

Posted

Since waiver of speedy was filed the state had at least a year maybe 2 depending on what the charge is.

For more information or to set up a free consultation contact the Law Office of Corey Cohen at 407-246-0066 or visit our website at www.coreycohen.com Twitter @cohenlawyer

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Asker

Posted

Thank you Mr. Cohen. It appears the answers were differnt so I added som additional info. Thank you again for your contribution to the site.

Posted

There aren't third degree misdemeanors in Florida. What was the charge?

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Posted

The attorney probably did not file your waiver with the state. This is very easy for an attorney to check out.

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