We all have the Sixth Amendment right to a fair and speedy trial, but when all is said and done, what does that really mean? The intention of the United States’ criminal justice system is to protect the public’s safety while also ensuring that the rights of those facing criminal charges are upheld. As such, if you are accused of a crime in the State of Texas, you are entitled to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury.
The Sixth Amendment
The Sixth Amendment, which is also known as the speedy trial amendment, allows every person facing criminal charges to be tried in a timely fashion (Texas law guarantees the same protection). To sum up this protection, the accused has specific rights that include:
- The accused has the right to a public and speedy trial.
- That trial must include an impartial jury.
- That trial must take place in the state and district in which the accused allegedly committed the crime in question.
Additionally, as the accused, you are entitled to know the nature of the charges brought against you (including why they were brought against you in the first place). Further, you have the right to acquire witnesses in your favor and to confront those witnesses who testify against you. Finally, you are entitled to have legal counsel assist in your defense.
How Speedy Is Speedy?
In the context of the criminal justice system, the definition of "speedy" is entirely subjective, and there are no clear-cut guidelines in place to light the way. If you are awaiting a criminal trial, every month, week, day, and hour probably feels like an eternity. The average time that is generally quoted by experienced defense attorneys hovers around eight months – but complicated cases typically require more time, and straightforward cases often require less time.
Has Your Right to a Speedy Trial Been Violated?
In its attempt to determine if your right to a speedy trial has been violated, the court will take several factors into consideration, including:
- Your wait in comparison to others who face similar charges
- Trial delays and whether prosecution or defense brought them
- Whether defense ever asserted the right to a speedy trial
Whether your rights under the Sixth Amendment have been violated is a complicated legal question. For this reason, if you have any reason to believe that they have it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney review your case as soon as possible.
Consult with an Experienced Lawyer Regarding Your Right to a Fair and Speedy Trial
If you are facing criminal charges, you are acutely aware of every minute that passes. You are, nevertheless, entitled to a fair and speedy trial, and attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is committed to safeguarding your rights. We help those throughout Bell County and Texas, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 for more information today.