Speedy Trial Rights Arizona

Arizona DUI and Criminal Trial Lawyer“Speedy Trial Rights” in Arizona

“From an AZ criminal defense perspective, situations may exist where it would be in the Defendant’s best interest to extend the time limit for which their trial will begin.”

Arizona “Speedy Trial Rights”: Arizona Criminal Rules of Procedure

“Speedy trial rights” refer to the maximum time limit for which an Arizona criminal or DUI trial must commence. (“Speedy trial rights” does not refer to how fast a trial is from start to end; nor should it be confused with “Arizona Criminal Time Limitations” which relate to the time limit the State of Arizona has to bring forth Arizona criminal charges against a suspect.) Speedy Trial Rights refers specifically to when a trial must begin after formal criminal charges are brought.

Arizona Criminal Case Time Limits

Under Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, the time line can be broken down into four different types. If a trial is to commence, it must begin within the following time lines below:

  • Defendants in Custody:
  • Defendants Released From Custody:
  • Complex Cases:
  • Capital Cases:
150 days from arraignment.
180 days from arraignment.
270 days from arraignment.
18 months from arraignment.
“Excluded Periods” of the Arizona Criminal Case Time Limits

Arizona Laws allow for certain named reasons in the Rules of Procedure in which a trial commencement extensions may be allowed. Those specific reasons are listed below (paraphrased from Arizona Laws):

  • Competency Hearings.
  • Defendant’s absence or incompetence, or his or her inability to be arrested or taken into custody in Arizona.
  • Delays resulting from a remand for new probable cause determination.
  • Delays resulting from extension of the time for disclosure/
  • Delays necessitated by congestion of the trial calendar, but only when the congestion is attributable to extraordinary circumstances.
  • Delays resulting from continuances.
  • Delays resulting from joinder for trial with another defendant as to whom the time limits have not run.
Speedy Trial Rights - Requesting Time Limit Extensions

If necessary, an extension in a criminal case time limit may be requested with a written Motion by the parties. In most cases the extensions are agreed upon by both sides. In some cases either the Arizona criminal defense or the Arizona prosecutor does not agree on the extension. In either situation, the decision is up to the Judge’s discretion. Then the Judge make a decision based on Arizona Law, as well as strength and legitimacy of the reason (s) for the needed extension.

Length of Time Speedy Trial Rights May be Extended

Arizona Laws prohibit allowing a criminal case to be delayed indefinitely or for unjust reasons. The Motions must include the specific reason(s) the extension is needed in order to justify the continuance. The Judge will review the Motion for Continuance and decide on the following;

  1. Allowing a continuance;

  2. Denying the continuance;

  3. Providing an alternative court order in the “interests of justice”. This may include but is not limited to requesting additional information or an argument hearing or other alternative orders.
Arizona Speedy Rights Standards for Granting Speedy Trial Extensions

The Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure require that a continuance of any trial date shall be granted only upon a showing that extraordinary circumstances exist and that delay is indispensable to the interests of justice. A continuance may be granted only for so long as is necessary to serve the interests of justice. In ruling on a motion for continuance, the court shall consider the rights of the defendant and any victim to a speedy disposition of the case. If a continuance is granted, the court shall state the specific reasons for the continuance on the record (cited in part).

Experienced AZ Criminal Defense Attorney – Reasons Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Might Request an Extension for Your Defense

From an Arizona criminal defense perspective, situations may exist where it would be in a Defendant’s best interest to extend the time limit for which their trial will commence. Every criminal case holds its own set of circumstances. Below are just a few examples of some common reasons your Arizona criminal defense attorney may feel it is in your best interest to request an extension for trial commencement on your behalf (list not all inclusive):

  1. Additional time is needed to locate a witness who would be able to testify in favor of the defendant;
  2. An extension of time is needed to obtain an expert opinion on a particular topic; and allow time for evaluation testing, and conclusions (for example, Psychologist, Engineer, Phlebotomist, and more depending on the case.);
  3. To enter negotiations with the Prosecution in an attempt to work out a favorable and respectable resolution to your case as an alternative to the uncertainties of trial and jury verdicts.

If you face DUI or criminal charges in Maricopa County, specifically in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert or Scottsdale, contact James Novak of the Law Office of James Novak today at (480) 413-1499. He will provide you with a solid and proven defense. He will customize the best defense on your behalf, based on your set of circumstances in an effort to get the best possible outcome in your case. He is a former prosecutor and criminal trial lawyer. The Law Firm of James Novak handles 100% Criminal & DUI defense exclusively. Call (480) 413-1499 today for your free initial consultation!

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