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Understanding your right to a speedy trial

On Behalf of | May 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury. While people can waive their right to a speedy trial so that they have time to gather evidence to support their case, some do prefer to have their trial sooner. It’s a good idea to understand what your rights are regarding a speedy trial in the state of Mississippi so that you can make an informed decision if you ever get arrested.

What is a speedy trial?

A speedy trial tends to be defined in very broad terms. Essentially, it means that a defense lawyer or their client is entitled to have a criminal trial within a reasonable amount of time after being arrested. Nowhere in the Sixth Amendment does it actually state what a small amount of time is. Each state tends to have laws that set forth the specific period of time that a speedy trial must take place after charges are filed against a defendant.

Waving the right to a speedy trial

While you are entitled to a speedy trial as a citizen of the United States, it may not always be in your best interest. Given the short time period wherein the speedy trial occurs, it doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to prepare your defense for your case. A lawyer might have trouble finding favorable witnesses and evidence to support a case in such a short period of time. In most cases, you’ll find that it’s in your best interest to waive your right to a speedy trial so that you have time to better prepare your case.

The right to a speedy trial is something that most people don’t understand regarding how it applies. The reality is that everyone has the right to a speedy trial in front of an impartial jury. However, the time period that’s actually considered speedy will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.