The Victim’s Right to a Speedy Trial in Florida: Understanding Statute 960.0015
While much is said about a defendant’s right to a speedy trial, it’s crucial to understand that victims also have rights, including the right to a timely resolution of the case. In Florida, Statute 960.0015 addresses this issue, giving the state attorney the power to demand a speedy trial under specific conditions. The Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers at Joshi Law Firm, PA, are well-versed in the details of this statute and how it may strategically affect defending your criminal charges.
When Can the State Attorney File a Demand?
According to Florida Statute 960.0015, the state attorney can file a demand for a speedy trial if:
- The state has met all its obligations under the rules of discovery.
- The charge is either a felony or a misdemeanor.
- The court has granted at least three continuances at the defendant’s request, despite the state attorney’s objections.
Time Limits for Filing a Demand
– For Felony Cases: The demand can be filed if the case is not resolved within 125 days after formal charges are filed and the defendant is either arrested or served a notice to appear in lieu of arrest.
– For Misdemeanor Cases: The time limit is 45 days under the same conditions as for felony cases.
What Happens After the Demand is Filed?
Once the state attorney files a demand for a speedy trial, the trial court must schedule a calendar call within 5 days. During this calendar call, the court will set the trial date, which must be no sooner than 5 days and no later than 45 days from the date of the calendar call.
Exceptions for the Defendant’s Due Process
The court can grant further extensions to prevent the deprivation of the defendant’s right to due process. This ensures that while the victim’s right to a speedy trial is upheld, the defendant’s constitutional rights are not compromised.
Special Circumstances for Postponing the Trial
- Witness Unavailability: The trial court can postpone the trial date for up to 30 additional days if a necessary witness, who was properly served, fails to attend the deposition and also fails to attend a subsequently scheduled deposition following a court order.
- Change of Counsel: If the court grants a motion by counsel to withdraw and appoint other counsel, the trial date can be postponed for no fewer than 30 days but no more than 70 days.
Again, in both these scenarios, the court can grant further extensions to prevent the deprivation of the defendant’s right to due process.
Balancing the Scales of Justice
Florida Statute 960.0015 aims to balance the rights of the victim and the defendant. While it empowers the state attorney to demand a speedy trial, it also provides safeguards to ensure that the defendant’s right to due process is not violated. This creates a more equitable legal system that respects the rights and needs of both victims and defendants.
For defendants, understanding this statute is crucial because it can affect the timeline of your case and your legal strategy.
Consult with Joshi Law Firm, PA
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, it’s essential to consult an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of statutes like 960.0015.
Understanding your rights and the legal procedures in Florida can make a significant difference in your case. Statute 960.0015 requires an effective defense strategy. Let us work with you on that effective defense strategy.
At Joshi Law Firm, PA, we are committed to providing expert legal advice and representation. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.