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Criminal Defense & Right to a Speedy Trial

A criminal defendant is entitled to a speedy trial. If a criminal defendant is charged with a misdemeanor, a trial must normally commence within 90 days of arrest or custody. If a criminal defendant is charged with a felony, a trial must normally commence with 175 days of arrest or custody. If a felony and misdemeanor are consolidated for disposition in circuit court, the misdemeanor is given the felony time period. If a mistrial is declared, a new trial must commence within 90 days of the mistrial order.

Speedy Trial Rules of Interest to Broward County Criminal Defense Attorneys

The amount of days may be extended by the need for pretrial proceedings and in exceptional circumstances. The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure define exceptional circumstances as those that, as a matter of substantial justice to the accused, the state, or both, require an order of extension.

Fort Lauderdale criminal attorneys should note that exceptional circumstances include the following:

  1. An unexpected illness or incapacity, or an unforeseeable and unavoidable absence of a person whose presence or testimony is necessary for trial.
  2. A showing by the state that the case is so unusual and/or complex, either because of the number of defendants or the nature of the prosecution ,that it is unreasonable to expect adequate investigation or preparation within the time periods as set by the rules of criminal procedure.
  3. A showing by the state that specific evidence or testimony is not available despite diligent efforts to secure it, but will become available at a later time;
  4. A showing by the accused or the state that the reason for delay rests upon unanticipated developments that will affect trial;
  5. A showing that a delay is necessary to accommodate a co-defendant, when there is reason not to sever the cases;
  6. A showing by the state that the defendant has caused the delay or disruption of the proceedings.

Broward Criminal Defense Attorneys are quick to argue that exceptional circumstances shall not include general congestion of the court’s docket, lack of diligent preparation, failure to obtain available witnesses, or other avoidable or foreseeable delays. A criminal defendant, by and through his or her Broward County criminal attorney is permitted to file a demand for trial within 60 days after formal charges are filed. By filing such a demand, Defendant asserts that they are available and will be ready for trial within five days.

The attorneys of William Moore Criminal Defense are available to answer any questions that you may have with respect to this article. There will never be a charge to speak with us.

For more information about this type of case contact:

Defense Attorney William R. Moore (954) 523-5333

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William is an amazing lawyer on the first day he took my case from a felony to a misdemeanor. He always answered my calls and text messages, never a problem. He was always the one in court not sending someone else, unlike my last lawyer. 10/10 would recommend. If I ever have any other problems, he will be the first person I call. Shane B.