All criminal defendants in the state of Georgia have the right to a speedy trial, which is an important right that offers several advantages. If prosecution violates this right, criminal charges against a person will likely be dismissed even if incriminating evidence against the person exists. It is often essential that a person retain the assistance of a skilled attorney to make sure that the case is properly handled.
The Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy Trial
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution grants individuals the right to a speedy trial. This right, however, applies differently based on the type of charges that a person faces. This right means that a person facing criminal charges must be tried within a reasonable amount of time. The Sixth Amendment protection is based on the case itself and whether a viable reason exists for a delay. There are several reasons why courts justify the rights to a speedy trial including a desire to avoid lengthy unfounded imprisonment, minimize the anxiety of awaiting outcomes to case, and protection of the defendant’s ability to defend against charges. A person who asserts the right to a speedy trial must be cautious to take precautions that the individual does not waive a demand for a speedy trial. If a person in any way takes affirmative actions that cause a case to be delayed in any manner, the demand for a speedy trial is waived. Some of the types of behavior that are found to constitute affirmative action include challenging the jury pool, filing motions for continuance, and not appearing for a calendar call.
Georgia’s Speedy Trial Code
While the Sixth Amendment is somewhat vague regarding the right to a speedy trial, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated contains more specific laws regarding the right to a speedy trial. If a demand for a speedy trial is made, the government has the term during which the demand is filed and the next term to try the case if the case involves a capital offense which constitutes armed robbery, murder, and rape. Courts in Georgia, however, have different interpretations about what constitutes a “term of court.” In many situations, cases are tried within a year of arrest so a speedy trial does not resolve any faster than it usually would. In some cases, a District Attorney might also refuse to negotiate any type of settlement if a request for a speedy trial is made. As a result, a demand for a speedy trial is often a strategic decision that can have both good and bad consequences.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney
Each year, there are many cases dismissed in the state of Georgia that are dismissed due to a violation of the speed trial. To make sure that you fully assert this right, the assistance of a criminal defense attorney at at Federal Criminal Defense Law Center can prove to be particularly beneficial. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm today to obtain the assistance that you require.