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Tampa Criminal Lawyers: What are speedy trial rights in Florida?

Tampa Criminal Lawyers are often asked about speedy trial rights as anyone that sat in a criminal court in the Tampa Bay area has heard judges constantly asking whether or not the defendant waives their right to speedy trial. In order to properly answer the above reference question, it is important to identify the two differences between one’s rights to a speedy trial.

First, one has the ability to demand a speedy trial in Florida. This is governed by Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.191. Once the individual has filed the demand for speedy trial, they must be brought to trial within 60 days of that demand, which takes place in a formal pleading filed with the court. Once the demand has been filed, the court must set a calendar/docket call and set the trial within five days of the filing. The trial must be set for no less than five days after the counter call but no greater than 45 days after the day of the counter call. If trial has not occurred within 50 days the defendant must then file a pleading known as a notice of expiration of speedy trial. No later than five days from the filing of the notice of expiration of speedy trial, the court will hold a hearing and determine if any of the provisions under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.191(j) has occurred. Then the defendant has to go to trial within 10 days of that hearing. If no trial has occurred within that final 10-day period through no fault of the defendant, the defendant is forever discharged for criminal prosecution under that specific act or allegations from the state attorney’s office. We understand this is an incredibly confusing rule and the timelines are growing further confusing as you begin discussing specific dates and times. With all that being said though, the overwhelming majority speedy trial issues don’t actually fall under this specific provision regarding a demand for speedy trial. The majority of speedy trial issues discussed by the court relate to situations when an individual does not make a demand for speedy trial, which we’ll discuss here shortly.

The second situation speedy trial becomes an issue, occurs when the defendant does not make a demand for a speedy trial. In Florida again under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.191, defendant being charged with a misdemeanor must be brought to trial within 90 days of their arrest. In a felony case, the defendant must be brought to trial within 180 days of their arrest. This is all pending there not being a waiver of speedy trial. Of course, if there is a waiver of speedy trial then those timelines are not affected. It’s worth noting though that an individual can waive their right to those speedy trial rights, yet later file a demand for a speedy trial which we previously discussed.  We further discuss reasons many people waive speedy trial elsewhere on our Tampa Criminal Lawyers blog.

If you have questions concerning your rights for a speedy trial or other Tampa defense questions, contact the Tampa Criminal Lawyers of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ve handled thousands of criminal cases in the Tampa Bay Area. We look forward to sitting down with you and developing a personalized effective case plan to defend your rights and make sure your rights are looked out for in your criminal matter. If you’d like to contact one of Tampa Criminal Lawyers immediately, please use the “Contact us now” tab in the upper right hand of our website. We appreciate your time and your attention to this matter and look forward to working with you in the future.