Murder Charge Dismissed For Speedy Trial Violation
Recently, a first degree murder charge against my client was dismissed due to a violation of his right to a speedy trial. While the client had a strong defense I, along with my co-counsel Joseph Paul Smith, looked forward to presenting in court, it was a relief our client did not have to face the risk of a trial.
Speedy trial rules differ from state to state. In Arkansas, the Rules of Criminal Procedure set out that a defendant must be brought to trial within one year. Does this mean the charges are automatically dropped after three hundred and sixty five days? No. There are periods of time that can be deemed "excluded" from that year. For example, if evidence is being tested at the crime lab, if the defendant raises the defense of mental disease, or if the defense needs more time to prepare. Certain motions can also stop the speedy trial clock from running.
The speedy trial rule can be more complicated that it first appears. If you are facing criminal charges, it is important to be represented by an experienced attorney who understands the ins and outs of the speedy trial rule and the rest of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Contact Autumn Tolbert, Attorney at Law PLLC at (479) 283-4688.