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Criminal defense and the right to a speedy trial

Being arrested can be a worrisome experience. Often, those who are placed under arrest will be unaware of their legal rights. A Michigan person facing trial on a criminal charge has a right to a speedy trial before an impartial jury. This is a guarantee based on the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It is vital to understand the details of the right to a speedy trial. A person facing criminal charges must be tried within a reasonable amount of time. The Sixth Amendment protection is based on the case itself and if there is a viable reason for any delay. When there is an extreme circumstance and the court decides that the delay from arrest to trial led to an unreasonable and prejudicial treatment of the defendant, the case could be dismissed.

The Sixth Amendment also guarantees an impartial jury. This jury will be comprised of a wide range of people from the community. They will examine the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. If there is not a unanimous agreement, there will be a hung jury and possibly a mistrial. The case might be dismissed or retried.

When a person is arrested, there are a litany of long-term consequences that can result. The initial response on the part of a defendant is to try and address the charges. However, there can be other ways to lodge a defense including pointing out the failure on the part of the state to adhere to the defendant’s rights to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment. Consulting with a criminal defense attorney might be advisable once charges have been filed.