Q1? - The person was arrested May 1, 08, a bond was set, several court dates were set and cancelled. Now it's going on two years, doesn't this person have to be released from jail?
Q2? - The person in jail has asked the public defender the charges against him and what evidence there was against him and the public defender told him he couldn't have access to the information until he goes into court. How legit is this?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Q1 - the person has a right to a speedy trial if he asserts that right by filing a motion. However, his right is subject to the business of the court's docket. He does not have the right to jump line in front of other folks who are also waiting in jail for their trials. He does not have a right to be released from jail because he has yet to go to trial, although he does have the right to a reasonable bond. The accused should talk to his lawyer about this.
Q2 - the accused has a right to know the charges against him and he should have been served with a copy of any indictments which were returned against him. (I assume he is charged with a felony since the maximum time in jail for misdemeanor offenses is 1 year.) The lawyer is obligated to review the evidence with the accused in preparation for trial. I suggest that the accused write a letter to the lawyer asking for him to provide a copy of the charging instrument(s) and to schedule an appointment to review the evidence with him so he can make an informed decision on whether he wants a trial or desires to work out a plea bargain agreement.