Speedy Trial

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Section 16 of the Florida Constitution provides for a speedy trial right for every defendant.  The right to a speedy trial is also codified in the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.191.   

Rule 3.191provides for the rules regarding speedy trial.  The speedy trial rules states that every person who is arrested for a misdemeanor has the right to be brought to trial within 90 days.  A person charged with a felony has the right to be brought to trial within 175 days.  If the police do an investigation and later obtain an arrest warrant, then the time limitations of speedy trial will not begin until the person is taken into custody.

A failure to bring a defendant to trial within the required time frame does not result in an automatic dismissal of the charges.  Once the deadline for trial is passed, the attorney can file a “Notice of Expiration of Speedy Trial”  The court is then required to have a hearing within 5 days of the “Notice” and the defendant must be brought to trial within 10 days of that hearing.  “A defendant not brought to trial within the 10-day period through no fault of the defendant, on motion of the defendant or the court, shall be forever discharged from the crime.” 

The right to a speedy trial does not mean that all cases are brought to trial within that time limitation.  A defendant who is unavailable for trial or who requests a continuance in order to be better prepared or to review discovery waives their right to a speedy trial.

Speedy Trial Resources:

US Constitution Sixth Amendment
Florida Constitution Section 16
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.191