If you are arrested and charged with a crime, it’s important to know that you have certain rights. The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that a person who is charged with a criminal act has the right to a speedy trial within a reasonable period of time after they have been arrested. If you live in Atlanta, Georgia, you must know what this means.
Your Rights to a Speedy Trial
First and foremost, you must know that the right to a speedy trial does not apply until you have been accused of a crime, officially charged with that crime or indicted. In spite of the guarantee of a speedy trial, however, state law may determine exactly how much time is considered reasonable for a trial to take place after your charges. In Atlanta and Georgia, in general, a defendant who has been arrested and charged with committing a crime must receive a trial during the second term following their arrest.
Being Denied Your Rights
In some cases, it might take too long between the arrest and a trial. It would be fair to assume that if this happens to you, your right to a speedy trial has been denied. However, it isn’t easy to determine what length of time between an arrest and a trial is considered unreasonable. The court will always consider a variety of factors, including the length of time, reason for the delay and whether you have stated you do in fact want a speedy trial. Another factor may be whether the delay has compromised any type of defense that could have been used in your favor.
When Does the Speedy Trial Apply?
Another detail that you must take into account is that the right to a speedy trial only applies between the time of your arrest and your trial. In other words, the court does not consider any other time such as during sentencing and conviction when pertaining to the right to a speedy trial. If the defendant has previously been arrested and has been sitting in jail while awaiting sentencing, for instance, there would be no right to a speedy trial as the trial would have already occurred after their original arrest.
The right to a fair trial is one of the basic rights of criminal defendants in Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere throughout the country. It is a fundamental component of the Constitution and if a defendant is denied that right, it would be a violation of due process.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, it's important to ensure that your rights are protected. You have the right to a speedy trial and can speak with a criminal defense attorney to help protect your rights.
Call our team today (678) 582-2272 to learn more about how we can help protect your future.