How Long Can A Court Case Be Postponed?
There is no strict rule on how long a court case can be postponed for. However, it is generally recognized that eight months is the maximum amount of time a court case can be postponed for. This is due to the Sixth Amendment to the constitution that says “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial”.
It has been shown that after a period of eight months, the plaintiff is being denied his sixth amendment right to a speedy trial. This is why, sometimes, the best criminal defense is the postponement defense.
When Maryland criminal cases are fresh and new, prosecutors tend to focus on them. But, as criminal charges grow old, new cases replace them, and prosecutors lose interest in older cases. Especially, cases that are weak to being with.
What is the Postponement Defense?
The postponement defense is when criminal charges get older and older. The postponement defense can happen in a number of ways.
- The State fails to provide discovery to the Defendant and criminal defense attorney. A postponement is granted and the case gets older.
- The State’s or Defendant’s witnesses are unavailable. A postponement is granted and the case gets older.
- The Defendant fails to appear and a bench warrant is issued. A postponement is granted and the case gets older.
- The courts close due to bad weather. A postponement is granted and the case gets older.
- The Defendant and criminal defense attorney pray a jury trial. A postponement is granted and the case gets older.
- The criminal defense attorney enters their appearance shortly before or the day of trial. A postponement is granted and the case gets older.
It’s not always a strategy, sometimes the postponement defense just happens.
Howard County Criminal Drug Charges Dismissed
Recently, Albers & Associates handled a Howard County criminal drug case where the client was charged with possession. On the first court date, the defendant failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued. Ultimately, the bench warrant was quashed and a new trial date was scheduled about two months later.
On the second trial date, the defendant failed to appear again! A second bench warrant was issued and the defendant was ultimately arrested. The defendant made bail a couple months later and a new trial date was scheduled.
Before the third trial date, the co-defendant plead guilty to the charges. The co-defendant’s case was a much better and stronger case for the State’s Attorney’s Office.
On the third trial date, the defendant failed to appear again! Bench warrant, right? Nope, the Assistant State’s Attorney dismissed the defendant’s case probably because: (1) the case was old, and (2) the co-defendant had already plead guilty.
There were no shady criminal defense attorney tactics and tricks here. The postponement defense just happened.
Time is on the side of the defense, not the State. So, take your time. Especially, in weak cases. They tend to go away after time.
Schedule a Free Criminal Defense Attorney Consultation
Albers & Associates is located in Westminster, Carroll County, Maryland. Westminster criminal defense attorney Ross W. Albers is former Baltimore City prosecutor. Contact Albers & Associates today to schedule a free consultation.The post How Long Can A Court Case Be Postponed? appeared first on Albers and Associates.