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Speedy Trial in Texas and How to Get One

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Why haven’t I had my trial yet?

The Court you case was assigned to might have a busy docket, your appointed lawyer might have lots of cases ahead of you, or the State may simply not be ready to proceed to trial. Please call our office at 210-417-4590 to discuss options.

Why is it important to get to trial as soon as possible?

If you have an alibi or an exculpatory witness or piece of evidence, then waiting for trial causes undue stress, time, and money. Another downside is having to take time off of work to attend trial or being unable to see your children or spouse until your case is resolved.

Why is it important to delay your trial?

If your case involves the crime allegedly having been committed in front of a peace officer or an interested witness, the passage of time plays in your favor. The witnesses memory could fade or a police officer might change careers during the course of waiting for trial.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, please call our office and we can discuss your options concerning a demand for a speedy trial so that you and your family can put this case behind you at 210-417-4590.

What is the law on speedy trial?

A person charged with a crime is guaranteed the right to a speedy trial under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article I, § 10 of the Texas Constitution, and article 1.05 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

Under Art. 32A.01, criminal cases shall be given preference over trials of civil cases, and the trial of a criminal case against a defendant who is detained in jail pending trial of the action shall be given preference over trials of other criminal cases. Trial of a criminal case in which the alleged victim is younger than 14 years of age shall be given preference over other matters before the court, whether civil or criminal. The trial of a criminal case against a defendant who has been determined to be restored to competency under Article 46B.084 shall be given preference over other matters before the court, whether civil or criminal.

What does a Judge consider in a Speedy Trial Hearing?

A Judge will consider the following 5 factors when considering your speedy trial motion:

  1. Length of delay: How long has it been since your arrest or since your confinement, since the last trial setting?
  2. Reason for delay. Why is your case taking so long? Does the Court have a busy docket? Is the Court setting your case for month out? Is the Prosecutor still trying to gather evidence? Is your attorney prolonging the case for some reason? Do you have a missing witness? Do you have an expert that can only be available on certain dates.
  3. Assertion of the right. Have you or your lawyer demanded a speedy trial on the record? Did your attorney file a motion for speedy trial? Has your motion been heard before a Court and denied? Has your attorney announced not ready for trial?
  4. Prejudice caused because of delay. The longer that time passes, the more a memory fades. This fact has been proven time and time again regarding eye witness identification. The sequence of events because muddled, your witnesses might have forgotten the event or alibi date, what evidence have you lost because you did not get a speedy trial?
  5. Type of Case. As you read above, certain cases take priority. Individuals in custody will almost always have priority over someone out on bond. Children victim’s cases will be prioritized over a drug case due to memory fading.