What does a speedy trial mean?
The right to a speedy trial ensures that the state brings an individual to trial within a specific period of time. The timer in most cases starts running when the accused is arrested, but it might start running when the defendant is formally charged if this happens before the arrest. Nevertheless, if any law enforcement entity is investigating a person as a suspect and has not been arrested yet, ,the timer will start when a formal charge has been placed.
Considering that the timer can start running before the arrest, the accused will try to avoid an arrest, as a wise move if they have already been charged. However, a judge will pause the timer during any interval in which the accused is evading law enforcement.
California Law of Speedy Trial
The right to a speedy trial is guaranteed in the U.S. (6th Amendment) and California (Article I, Section 15) constitution, however those documents are somewhat ambiguous about the specifics of that right, leaving its interpretation up to legislative bodies and judges.
For starters, the California Revised Statutes, Section PEN 1382
- If a defendant announces that he is ready for trial and files a request for a speedy trial then the court shall set the case for trial as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.
- The provisions of this section shall be enforceable by mandamus. Neither the failure to comply with this section nor the State's failure to prosecute shall be grounds for the dismissal of the indictment or information unless the court also finds that the defendant has been denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Thus there are two distinct ideas and each is noted as a speedy trial. A suspect might announce, typically through a personal representative, that he or she is ready and needing to proceed to the trial part, within which case the State contains a burden to advance the proceedings to trial in a very timely manner. This idea amounts to a quick track of the matter therefore the suspect might shorten the time of imprisonment before really being condemned or clean-handed of the crime.
California statutes specify a timeframe of one hundred and eighty days when receipt of the request for a “speedy trial,” a timeframe which is often thought-about by different courts to be affordable for the start of trial. Even as a suspect might request this way or “speedy trial,” the suspect might waive the proper to the present way approach if there exists evident reasons to delay. Evident reasons embody getting proof or line witnesses vital for the defense's case. Even though this maneuver is observed as a speedy trial, it's a procedural component and also the protection afforded through its use could also be lost to the litigator if the Court observes giddy motions and delays as a maneuver of the defense. Also, failure to talk up if the State causes undue delays will dilute the way maneuver and cause the protection to be lost. In different words, a litigator cannot profit by his own failure.
Since the Sixth amendment contains no specifications on the time allowed for a case to be “speedy,” the courts typically have developed four factors to see if a defendant's rights are violated.
- The length of the delay
- Reasons for the delay
- Prejudice or harm brought to the defendant's case by the delay
- Whether the defendant demanded a speedy trial and when
Generally courts balance the factors like length of delay against the doable prejudice caused by the delay. Doable prejudices embody the loss of key witnesses or proof. If the Court finds that the constitutional protection has been profaned, the remedy isn't any more prosecution. The statutory language found in Section 1382 of the California Revised Statutes specifically outlines the course of action to be taken by the court as follows:
“If the indictment is not dropped at trial among the specific time frame, and if the court finds that the offender's constitutional right to a speedy trial has been denied, no court of this state shall have jurisdiction of such indictment…nor shall the untried indictment…be of from now on extent further force or effect; and therefore the court shall issue an order dismissing constant with prejudice.”
Prejudice during this legal sense suggests that the charge cannot be re-filed and therefore the facts of this case might not be reused to prosecute this suspect. There additionally exists case law on the topic. In Stunk v. u. s. (1973) the U. S. Supreme Court command that if the defendant's right to a speedy trial was profaned, the case should be pink-slipped and can't be re-filed. Protection from future prosecution on the matter is that the solely remedy for the violation of the constitutional right to a speedy trial
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