[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedy_trial]Speedy trial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]Speedy trial refers to one of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution to defendants in criminal proceedings. The right to a speedy trial, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, is intended to ensure that defendants are not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair trial. Violations of the principle, such as where the state has failed to bring the case to trial for an "unreasonable" length of time, may be a cause for dismissal of a criminal case.
In the United States, the length of time can either be defined by statute (for example, in New York, the prosecution must be "ready for trial" within six months on all felonies except murder, or the charges are dismissed by action of law without regard to the merits of the case), or determined by a court under a substantive theory based on the Sixth Amendment; which states: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial..." This argument is typically made in cases in which a significant amount of time has lapsed between the date of the commission of the crime and the date of arrest.
Most, if not all, statutes defining the period of speedy trial time also include various exceptions to this rule. Examples of such exceptions are periods of time in which the delay preceding the trial is due to the request of the defense, or if there is good cause shown for the delay.
Right to a Speedy Jury Trial - Criminal LawWhat is a "Speedy" Trial?
A "speedy" trial basically means that the defendant is tried for the alleged crimes within a reasonable time after being arrested. Although most states have laws that set forth the time in which a trial must take place after charges are filed, often the issue of whether or not a trial is in fact "speedy" enough under the Sixth Amendment comes down to the circumstances of the case itself, and the reasons for any delays. In the most extreme situations, when a court determines that the delay between arrest and trial was unreasonable and prejudicial to the defendant, the court dismisses the case altogether.
Criminal Resource Manual 628 Speedy Trial Act of 1974628 Speedy Trial Act of 1974
Title I of the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, 88 Stat. 2080, as amended August 2, 1979, 93 Stat. 328, is set forth in 18 U.S.C. §§ 3161-3174. The Act establishes time limits for completing the various stages of a federal criminal prosecution. The information or indictment must be filed within 30 days from the date of arrest or service of the summons. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b). Trial must commence within 70 days from the date the information or indictment was filed, or from the date the defendant appears before an officer of the court in which the charge is pending, whichever is later. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1).
Looks like someone here flunked law school.