The Right to a Speedy Trial

The Sixth Amendment of the United State Constitution and Section 16 of the Florida Constitution both guaranty the right to a “speedy and public trial.”

To give force to this constitutional right, the Florida Supreme Court adopted Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191, more commonly known as the “Speedy Trial Rule.”

Florida's Speedy Trial Rule

The Speedy Trial Rule provides that once a person has been arrested, they must be brought to trial within:

  • 175 days of their arrest if charged with a felony; or
  • 90 days of their arrest if charged with a misdemeanor.

Expiration of Speedy Trial Period

Although the Speedy Trial Rule requires the State to bring a defendant to trial within a set period of time, the remedy for a violation is not an automatic dismissal.

Rather, when the deadline expires, a defendant must invoke a recapture provision by filing a “Notice of Expiration of Speedy Trial Time”

Once the “Notice of Expiration of Speedy Trial Time” is filed and served on the prosecutor, a trial must be held within 15-days of the filing. If a defendant is not brought to trial within fifteen days through no fault of his own, then the defendant is entitled to have the charges dismissed.

Continuances and Delays

A reoccurring issue that misconception is that the Speedy Trial is absolute; but nothing could be further from the truth. The Court's have consistently held that the Speedy Trial Rule provides for just that, a Speedy Trial; not a Speedy Dismissal.

As a result, if a defendant, or the defendant's attorney, causes or asks for a delay, for almost any reason, then the defendant will have waived the right to a speedy trial under Florida's Speedy Trial Rule and cannot seek dismissal after the applicable time period has expired.

Waivers of the Speedy Trial Rule have been found to occur:

  1. If a defendant asks for more time to find an attorney;
  2. If an attorney, court appointed or private, is appointed to a case late and needs more time to review evidence;
  3. If a defendant or the attorney is late to court;

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you or a loved one have been arrested and desire a speedy trial, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer to assist you.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.