How is a public defender allowed to waive your right to a speedy trial?

Asked about 2 years ago - Largo, FL

I never told my public defender to waive my right to a speedy trial. I didn't find out that he done that until it was to late. I didn't even know what a speedy trial meant then. I was told that public defenders waive your right to a speedy trial to have more time to prepare the case, but yet at the same time it also gave the state more time to prepare a case. When I make an appeal for other reasons can I add not waiving my rights to a speedy trial?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Robert Edward Heyman

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Talk to your attorney. Speedy trial is routinely waived by attorneys who simply need more time to prepare a defense. You should understand that speedy trial is waived merely by your attorney asking to have a pretrial hearing continued to a later date..

    If you truly want to receive a speedy trial, your attorney can file a written demand for speedy trial. By doing so, you are telling the judge that you are ready for trial within 5 days. Your trial will need to be scheduled within 45 days of the demand. One caveat: be careful what you ask for.

    good luck,

    Robert E. Heyman, Esq.

  2. Robson David Charles Powers

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Speedy trial is often waived by defense attorneys, both public and private, in order to take the time to adequately prepare for a defense. I do not know the facts of your case but it is likely that the attorney waived speedy to aid your defense not harm it.

    This is general advice and not intended to form an attorney-client relationship.
  3. Christopher A Swaby

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . An attorney typically cannot waive any of a client's rights without the client's approval, which normally means having discussed the rights and the reasons supporting a waiver of those rights with the client. If he never informed you that he was waiving your right to a speedy trial even if it was for a good reason, then it is something that you should discuss with your appellate attorney. Understand that attorneys generally seek to continue trial dates in order to have time to be properly prepared for trial so you will need to let your appellate attorney know how you believe this continuance hurt you.

  4. John Skyler Riordan

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your defense counsel has the ability to waive your speedy trial right without your knowledge or consent under the current state of the law. This is because the decision is determined to be a tactical decision and tactical decisions are left to the discretion of the attorney. Typically, you cannot use your attorney waiving speedy as grounds for an appeal. The caselaw is against you that issue.

    John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm... more
  5. Harry Edward Hudson Jr

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . You may or may not be able to add the waiver. Talk to your appellate counsel.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client... more
  6. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Whether it would make any difference in an appeal, I won't speculate.

    Speedy trial rights are often (almost usually) waived when the client is not in custody because generally time works to the benefit of the defense.

    You should talk to your appellate lawyer about this. Generally in an appeal you do not object to everything that was wrong, but go for one to three main errors so as to not dilute the force of the argument.

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  7. Colleen M. Glenn


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Was this a misdemeanor or felony case? If you want a speedy trial you can still have it via a written demand for speedy trial. This will cause the judge to set a calendar call on your case within 5 days and then force the state to pick a trial date within 45 days. Waiving speedy trial at the beginning of someone's case is a routine practice done by attorneys who are experienced enough to be able to look at the facts of the case and make a decision as to how long it will take to prepare for trial. In addition it is common knowledge among attorneys that the older the case gets the more likely it is to be resolved in your favor. Good luck!

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