One of the most important protections is the right to file a motion to discharge for failure to file the charges at issue within the speedy trial time periods established by Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191.
In Florida, the speedy trial rule is a procedural protection. Pursuant to Florida’s speedy trial rule, “every person charged with a crime shall be brought to trial within 90 days of arrest if the crime charged is a misdemeanor, or within 175 days of arrest if the crime charged is a felony.” Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.191.
The speedy trial rule in Florida also provides that a person is taken into custody “when the person is arrested as a result of the conduct or criminal episode that gave rise to the crime charged.” Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.191(d).
When the Speedy Trial Period Begins to Run
As a result, the Florida Supreme Court has held that the speedy trial period begins to run when the defendant is taken into custody and does not stop merely because the State does not file charges. State v. Williams, 791 So.2d 1088, 1091 (Fla. 2001).
Nor does filing a no information or nol prossing of a charge toll the running of the speedy trial period. Palmer v. State, 76 So.3d 1016, 1018 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) (citing State v. Agee, 622 So.2d 473, 475 (Fla. 1993)).
Discharge Pursuant to Florida's Speedy Trial Rule
Discharge pursuant to Florida’s Speedy Trial rule is not automatic if the State files charges within the speedy trial period but fails to bring the case to trial or notify the defendant of the charges. State v. Nelson, 26 So.3d 570, 574 (Fla. 2010).
In that situation, the rule is not self-executing, State v. Jimenez, 44 So.3d 1230, 1233 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010), and “the defendant may initiate application of the rule by filing and serving on the State a separate pleading entitled ‘Notice of Expiration of Speedy Trial Time.’ ” Nelson, 26 So.3d at 574. If the State does not file the charges within the speedy trial period, however, the defendant is generally entitled to a discharge.
If the State does not file the charges within the speedy trial period, however, the defendant is generally entitled to a discharge.
In many cases, the criminal defense attorney will waive the right to a speedy trial by requesting a continuance. Generally, “a continuance that is chargeable to the defense ... waives a defendant's speedy trial rights under the default period of the rule.” Id. at 580.
Attorney for Speed Trial Rules in Miami, Florida
Contact an attorney at Hubbs Law to discuss how Florida's right to a speedy trial might impact your case. Attorney E.J. Hubbs represents clients throughout Miami and Miami-Dade County. Call for a free consultation to discuss the charges pending against you, ways to avoid the typical punishment, and the best ways to fight the case for an outright dismissal of the charges.