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Do South Carolina have the right to a Speedy Trial?

Columbia, SC |

If the defendant is in jail by hear say , there is no evidence what so ever , and bail is denied How does he have a fast trial without sitting for a long time and the right to a bond reduction ?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The Defendant has a United States Constitutional Right to a speedy trial. Even if the State does not have provisions for a speedy trial. The United States Supreme Court in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, (1972) sets forth the considerations regarding the right to a speedy trial. In some states, (like Texas), there is no set time limit, or number of days which triggers a dismissal because of the denial of the right to a speedy trial. Other states like Arkansas do have time limitations from arrest until trial.

    I advise you or your friend contact a local experienced criminal defense attorney to preserve his rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can also seek reductions in bail/bond etc. and save you significant money.

    Good Luck

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  2. His attorney can file a motion for a speedy trial, but its only practical effect in most cases is to preserve the issue for appeal by showing that he asserted his right to a speedy trial. The federal constitutional right to a speedy trial is based on a combination of factors including whether the right was asserted, the reason for the delay, the complexity of the case, and whether any prejudice was suffered by the length of time that went by (for example if witnesses are no longer available).

    The South Carolina Supreme Court has just issued a new administrative order that provides for the dismissal of cases that have not been resolved after approximately 2 and 1/2 years unless good cause is shown by the prosecution, and again four years after indictment. This is not much help for the person sitting in jail waiting for trial, and in some cases the federal constitutional right to a speedy trial should kick in before the S.C. Supreme Court's time limit has been met.

    Under S.C.'s new bond statutes, he has a right to have the circuit court review the denial of his bond every six months, or when he can show a change in circumstances, which is defined in the statute.


  3. There is a right to a speedy trial written into the SC constitution in addition to that guaranteed by the US constitution. See http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/summaryCourtBenchBook/HTML/CriminalG.htm.

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