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.