Article 701: Your Right to a "Speedy" Trial when unable to afford posting a bond.
Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 701 refers to one's right to a speedy trial...But what exactly is "Speedy" and why its better to not be poor.
Below is a timeline of statutory deadlines for a speedy trial for most people unable to make bond.
Arrest - Bond should be set within 72 HoursAfter the arrest and unfortunate event you cannot post a bond to secure release from jail; you will be divided into 1 of 3 categories:
Indictment/Bill of Information - 45/60/120 days moreArticle 701 says that the State needs to charge you via Bill of Information of Indictment within the following time period:
Misdemeanor Offense get 45 more days. Felony Offenses get 60 more days, and Capitol Offenses get 120 more days.
Initial Appearance/Arraignment - 30 more daysWithin 30 days from being charged with the crime, a plea of "guilty" or "not guilty" should be entered.
Motion for Speedy Trial with affidavit should be filed at this point.*The motion needs to have an affidavit from the attorney certifying that he/she is ready to try the case. In its absence, the motion will be heard within another 30 days to determine the expedited trial date.
Trial - 30/120 more daysIf/when the Motion for Speedy Trial is decided and a trial date is set, then the following delays apply:
Misdemeanor Offense get up to 3.5 months in jail before a trial.
Felony Offenses get over 7 months in jail before a trial.
These are probably the EARLIEST you could expect a trial date for your respective charge!!!
What does this mean?We are putting people behind bars who are presumed innocent for extended periods of time under the auspices of the concept of a "speedy trial," when most people's number one priority while incarcerated is to just get out.
After 7 months in jail; the concept of guilt or innocence seems irrelevant to a person offered probation and release from incarceration.
The above consists of my personal experience and actual results may be different depending on the jurisdiction. The deadlines set forth by Article 701 are not adhered to by all agencies and in my experience, are the shortest possible times to bring your criminal matter to trial.
Justice Delayed is not Justice.