Your right to a speedy trial is guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Florida provides additional rights in Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191. Both the constitutional right to a speedy trial and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191 apply.
Speedy Trial? How Long is too Long?
The constitutional right to a speedy trial does not define a certain length of time. Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191 provides that a defendant must be brought to trial within 90 days of arrest if charged with a misdemeanor. A defendant must be brought to trial within 175 days of arrest if charged with a felony. The defendant can move to have the case dismissed if the state fails to bring the defendant to trial within the 90 or 175 days.
Waiving Your Right to a Speedy Trial
The 90 and 175 day time limits do not apply if the defendant waives the right to a speedy trial. There are many good reasons that a defendant would waive the right to a speedy trial. Why a defendant would want to do so is another topic. However, typically it involves needing additional time to prepare or additional time to negotiate a resolution.
How to Waive your Right to a Speedy Trial
Most of the time, at least in my cases, an attorney has filed a wavier of appearance and the defendant will not be there for the calendar call. In that case, the attorney simply tells the judge that the defendant waives the right to a speedy trial. That works most of the time. The judge is essentially taking the attorney at his word that he has the client’s authorization to do so. The judge may place the defendant under oath and ask the defendant he or she understands the right being waived. If the defendant is not at the calendar call, due to a waiver of appearance, some judges like for the file to contain a written waiver signed by the defendant. Each judge is different.
Below is a written waiver of speedy trial in the event the judge asks you to supplement the file with a signed waiver. There is no standardized form. This is one that I created and have used on numerous occasions. The is no rule that a written waiver needs to be notarized, but it is my personal preference to have it notarized.
The form is in fillable PDF format. Please feel free to use, distribute, edit, copy, link to, etc.
Submitted by DUI Attorney Michael Dye.
Download ( Waiver-of-Speedy-Trial.pdf, PDF, 25KB)
Omnibus Motion to Suppress
This is simply a checkbox motion to suppress which attorneys were using in District Court DUI cases in North Carolina. A defendant doesn’t have a right to discovery in District Court cases. However, the legislature passed a law mandating that all motions to suppress be filed pretrial. As a result, it was not uncommon to end up trying a case that had substantial problems that would have been the basis for a motion to suppress. However, all of your grounds for a motion to suppress were waived due to your failure to file a pretrial motion. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but this form started circulating wherein you simply checked every box that might apply to the case. When you filed the motion, you would get a hearing on your motion and you could use that as a means to flush out the facts. North Carolina has a right of appeal for a jury trial de novo if an individual is convicted in District Court.
Use in Other Jurisdictions:
This type of motion would not be acceptable in Florida under normal circumstances. I can think of certain scenarios when there might be an exception. However, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(g)(2) requires that a motion to suppress contain a legally sufficient factual basis for filing the motion to suppress. If the motion is not legally sufficient on its face, the judge should deny the motion without a hearing pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(g)(3). Accordingly, the use of this motion or a “check box” type of motion is going to depend on the rules of procedure in the jurisdiction where you practice. However, you would need to tailor the motion to the specific case law in your own jurisdiction. For example, items 3, 4 & 5 in the motion reference case law from North Carolina. If I were filing the motion in Florida, I could change “Knoll” in item 3 to “Halliburton” and move to suppress based on a due process argument.
I wouldn’t expect much in the way of good results from this type of motion. If you can write a more specific motion, it would probably be in your best interest to do so. However, filing a “& the kitchen sink” motion might be good for the record if the State is playing games with you regarding discovery and attempting to get you to waive your speedy trial in order to get discovery.
This motion is in Word format so it can be downloaded and modified to suit your individual needs.
Download ( Omnibus-Motion-to-Suppress.docx, DOCX, 16KB)