Skip to main content

Do I have a right to a speedy trial from the date of arrest for a DUI?

Port Orchard, WA |

I was arrested and charged on June 4th of 2010 for a DUI. I requested a jury trial. It is now Feb 15th, 2012. No trial has taken place. It has been continued 6 times due to procecutors wittness ( arresting officer ) not showing up. My life has been put on hold for two years. I want it over with.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


There is both a statutory right to a speedy trial and a constitutional right to a speedy trial in a criminal case. The statutory right to a trial within 90 days of arraignment has a lot of exceptions. The constitutional right has never been specificallly defined to a certain date following an arrest but my best guess (not knowing all the facts about your case) is you are still several months away from having a valid constitutional argument.

The court has great discretion to grant or deny a motion to continue a case. The argument against a continuance is that the prosecution did not take satisfactory steps (i.e. a subpoena) to compel the officer's attendance at trial. An officer in training or on vacation or being ill is good cause, however, to continue a case.


Everything above is correct. You may not remember, but every time you continued the case you likely started your 90 day right to a speedy trial over again, or the court extended it in thirty day increments for good cause. I am surprised that the court has been willing to continue the case six times for the exact same reason.

You should discuss your speedy trial issues with your attorney or, if you are representing yourself, consider retaining an experienced DUI attorney right away.


I agree with the other answers. The rule generally says that the accused person has a right to trial within 90 days, but there are a variety of ways for the judge, or the prosecutor, or the defense attorney to extend that time.
Most important, however, is the accused person. If you want the case resolved, you can have that power. Your attorney can push the case forward if that is your wish. Communication from and with the attorney is the key. If you don't have that with your current lawyer, Every accused person has a right to have full productive communication with their lawyer.

Get Avvo’s 3-part DUI email series

A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.

DUI topics

Recommended articles about DUI

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer