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How long does the state have to set an arraignment date after being arrested for felony dwi?

Lake Charles, LA |

I was arrested for felony dwi 7 months ago and have yet to receive an arraignment date. i know they have my correct address. does the state have a time limit on setting the arraignment date? and if so, how long is it ? also, if they do and the time has passed can this be dismissed?

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Attorney answers 1


Seven months sounds like an unusually long time for you to get a first court date, but there probably isn't a dimissal any time in your near future.

All crimes have statute of limitations (SOL), beyond which time the charge may not be filed. In Texas, the SOL for felony DWI is three years. Louisiana is probably similar, but check with a local attorney. There may be some other time sensitive state procedural requirements as well.

There is also a constitutional right to a speedy trial. While SOLs concern when a case may be initiated, Speedy Trial rights concern when a case is concluded. If it takes too long to get your case to trial, you are entitled to a speedy trial dismissal. Such dismissals are not common, but they do happen from time to time. Generally speaking, it would probably take a delay of at least 18 months, with some of that delay caused by the prosecution, and some harm to you as a direct result of that delay, for you to have any chance of a speedy trial dismissal.

You may or may not need to hire a lawyer at this time, but I would strongly advise you to speak to two or three of the locals.

For more specifics, see my Avvo Legal Guide on Speedy Trial Rights.

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