No one ever plans on being charged with a crime, but it’s important to know your rights just in case you are ever in this situation. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a number of rights to criminal defendants, including the right to a speedy trial.
What is a Speedy Trial?
Basically, the right to a speedy trial means that criminal defendants should be tried for the crimes they are accused of committing within a reasonable amount of time after being arrested.
The definition of “speedy” varies by state. In Colorado, the law states that every defendant should be brought to trial within six months from the date they entered a not guilty plea. If this right is violated, the law states the defendant should be released from custody and the charges should be dismissed.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, let’s say a defendant is determined to be incompetent to stand trial for two months after his arrest. These two months will not be included when calculating when a defendant should be brought to trial. The six month rule also does not apply in serious felony cases if the prosecution can prove that they need more time to build their case against the defendant.
The Importance of the Right to a Speedy Trial
There are many reasons why every defendant is given the right to a speedy trial. Having this right protects defendants from having to spend a significant amount of time behind bars before they are even tried for the crime they are accused of committing.
A speedy trial also ensures that the defendant can build the strongest case possible to defend himself against the charges. For example, let’s say the defendant is relying on witness testimony to prove he was not at the scene of the crime. As time passes on, the witnesses who saw the defendant elsewhere at the time the crime was committed may forget exactly what they saw. Evidence could also go missing if a defendant is denied the right to a speedy trial. For these reasons, it’s important for every criminal defendant to protect his right to a speedy trial.
This right also helps defendants who are anxious or worried about the outcome of their case. The sooner the trial begins, the sooner the case can be resolved.
If you have been charged with a crime, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys will aggressively protect your rights from the moment you are arrested until your case has been resolved. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.