If you are in jail for over 6 months and have had no pre-trial when are your protected rights in violation?

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If you are in jail for over 6 months and have had no pre-trial when are your protected rights in violation?

Asked on April 29, 2015 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If nothing has happened on your case in over six months, then you may have what is called a "speedy trial" claim.  Basically, the idea is that you shouldn't be held indefinitely while evidence that would be helpful to either side, including yours, goes stale.  Often, once evidence becomes stales, it looses value at trial.  Keep in mind, though, this is not automatic.  It could turn on a variety of factors.  If you don't have a criminal defense attorney, you should request one.  If you do have an attorney, discuss the option of speedy trial. 

Keep in mind, however, that once you make the request for speedy trial, the judge in your case could set you for trial once you make a speedy trial motion.  This means that even if you were needing to get evidence tested or your attorney needed more time to investigate an issue, then those activities would either be accellerated or go undone before trial--- which could affect one or more of your other defenses. 


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