The right to a speedy trial is given to us in the Constitution under the 6th Amendment.
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence [sic]."
So what does that mean for you exactly? Historically speaking, the reason for the 6th amendment goes back to the American Revolution. Quite often the British government would pretend to find guilt in the colonists and throw them in jail for charges that made no sense, then leave them there, with no hope of getting out, no trial date, and often times no lawyer. It was important to our Founding Fathers that ANYONE accused of a crime would have "due process", meaning:
"no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." - 5th amendment
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." - 14th Amendment. Section 2.
Due process for the accused is so important that it's actually the only thing mentioned (outside of the right to "life" and "liberty") twice throughout our Constitution. YOU ARE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO FAIR GOVERNMENT PROCESSES. Does our government and justice system always follow these processes? Well, the answer to that is NO, and often times it takes a lawyer to check the federal government on their behavior and decisions, which is why having a good lawyer throughout your situation is crucial.
In Louisiana Law, Title XXIV (24): Procedures Prior to Trial, Chapter 1. Setting Cases for Trial - Article 701 describes the breakdown of a speedy trial, from the arrest, filing of the bill of information (the charges), arraignment to the trial dates scheduled. We have created a flow chart that breaks down Art. 701 A-C for you. In any criminal situation, you should seek the help of an attorney who specializes in the type of criminal cases you are facing.
The Ambeau Law Firm specializes in these types of criminal cases:
Forensic DNA Litigation
Felony Criminal Defense
Too often, the accused do not know their rights and experience lengthy jail time, convictions of crimes they did not commit, and abuse from the justice system because they didn't seek a council who could fight for them! Take a look at our breakdown on 701 and make sure you give us a call, we're here to help you through this process from start to finish.
IMPORTANT: This is not legal advice. I have provided this in an effort to inform you of what to expect, not to advise you on a course of action. Please consult with an attorney before making any decision that may affect your legal rights, liberty, freedom, or safety.