How does it work if someone requests a speedy trial in a felony case ?
If a speedy trial demand is filed then the state must provide the defendant with a trial within 120 days if the defendant is in custody or 160 days if not in custody. Any continuance ocassioned by the defendant does not count against those days.
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There are a lot of pros and cons with respect to a Speedy Trial Demand and that crucial decision should be always made by a licensed attorney of record after a review of that case for applicability of that Motion as, in some cases, the case may suffer an expected blowback, added charges and worse disposition.
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It usually takes many months to resolve a felony case, and usually beyond the time set forth in the rules, so the right to a speedy trial is frequently waived. It is the defense attorney who needs to make the decision whether he or she is ready to go to trial. Those of us with decades of experience like to use that time to think about the case. The more time we are able to think, the more creative we can become. Speedy trial rights are just one way to get the defendant discharged.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq.,
From the day of your arrest, the clock is running. Typically, an attorney can demand trial as early as your initial court appearance knowing that the State will not be ready for trial. Once the case is assigned to a trial judge your attorney must make a decision as to whether or not to demand trial. If he demands trial and you are in custody the clock runs and you must be brought to trial within 120 days, unless the term is broken by a continuance occasioned by the defendant or by agreement of the parties. If you are on bond the same applies only the term is 160 days.