Skip to main content

What is the shortest possible time between arrest and trial in Massachusetts?

Boston, MA |

I am asking this for research purposes, not for legal counsel, nobody I know, including myself is in trouble, haha. I'm writing my first novel and one of the major components (but not the only component) of my story is a character in the novel going to trial for a murder he didn't commit. Now that I'm most of the way done with the first draft of this novel, I realized I have the character's trial beginning within a month of arrest, and I'm starting to realize this may be unrealistic, but it would be very hard to change the story line now. Can I keep this storyline the same and still have this book seem at least semi-belivable to readers? The reason why I did this is because the story begins and ends in a 3 month period. Obviously reality can be stretched in fiction, but not too far..

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It is completely unrealistic that a murder trial would be held one month after charge. 6 months is sretching it but is plausible.


  2. It's not realistic in our everyday lives but fiction frees you of this limitation. There are things that happen in John Grisham's novels that couldn't possibly take place in the world we live in. The same is true for any novelist who writes about the law I know of. Stick to your time frame if it's too much trouble to change it; most readers won't know the difference.


  3. I've defended more than a dozen people charged with 1st degree murder and the quickest I've ever got a case to trial is 12 months. In some counties it can take 3 years.


  4. If you're looking for some ideas, I think that adding a handsome Asian lawyer would be an excellent place to start ;) Good luck with your novel!

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics