Louisiana citizens who are charged with a crime have various rights. One of the most important is their Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury. However, what exactly is a speedy trial, and is it really in your best interest to ask for one?
What is a speedy trial?
The term “speedy” simply means that a person who is charged with a crime has the right to a trial within a reasonable amount of time after being arrested. In some states, the maximum amount of time that a person must wait for a speedy trial is specified. However, the circumstances revolving around the case and any potential reasons for a delay will be taken into consideration.
If a criminal defense lawyer believes that a trial is not speedy, he or she may ask for the case to be thrown out altogether. In this situation, a court will review the reasons for the delay and the amount of time it took between the arrest and the date of the trial to determine whether or not it was an unreasonable amount of time. If it’s determined to be so, then the case will be dismissed altogether.
Should you waive your right to a speedy trial?
In most cases, those accused of crimes do waive their right to a speedy trial. The reasoning behind this decision is that it allows the defense more time to gather evidence and to contact witnesses for their defense. Since the prosecution has already been building a case prior to the arrest, there’s not much of a disadvantage in waiving your right to a speedy trial.
The right to a speedy trial is one right that most Americans are aware that they have. However, not many of them choose to invoke this right. It’s always advisable to ask for the guidance of an attorney on this subject to ensure you’re choosing what’s in your best interest.