Your Speedy Trial Rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trust your lawyer.

One year into the global pandemic, the federal district courts around the country still have active orders suspending jury trials. We are finally restarting some trials in some districts, including the Southern District of California where I practice.

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants a right to a speedy trial. The amendment does not, however, set the timeline. The Speedy Trial Act, which was enacted by Congress, effectuated the constitutional guarantee and imposed specific requirements in criminal cases.

The Speedy Trial Act typically requires the government to file an indictment or information within 30 days of an arrest or service of summons. The trial must begin no more than 70 days later. The timeline, however, can be extended for various reasons, including if defendants or essential witnesses are unavailable or if the modified schedule “serves the ends of justice.”

Even if the Court permits you to proceed to trial, you must make wise and rational decisions. You don’t necessarily want a speedy trial, but rather a speedy and fair trial. There could be other obstacles to a fair trial when the juries are not listening, the witnesses are wearing masks, and physical evidence is hard to present.

It is more important than ever to hire an attorney willing to put in the time and fight for you at the detention hearing. It is much easier to wait for trial while out on bond than while sitting in jail.

How to prepare for the detention hearing in Federal Court. | Release, Detention, Bail Bond Hearings. Watch here:

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law

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