New Jersey Court Discusses a DWI Defendant’s Right to a Speedy Trial

DWI defendants have numerous rights under the law, including the right to a speedy trial. In other words, criminal defendants have a right to be tried within a certain amount of time from when the charges against them are filed, and if they are not, the charges may be dismissed. Recently, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey discussed the factors weighed in determining whether a violation of a defendant’s right to a speedy trial has occurred in a DWI case. If you are a New Jersey resident charged with DWI, it is prudent to meet with a skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with DWI in November, 2013. There were numerous appearances scheduled and adjourned or continued. The trial was ultimately scheduled for May, 2015. At the time of the trial, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss based on the grounds the State violated his right to a speedy trial. The court denied the motion, and the defendant entered a conditional guilty plea, after which he was sentenced. The defendant then appealed the court’s denial of his motion to the law division, which affirmed the trial court ruling. Subsequently, the defendant appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed the prior order.

The Right to a Speedy Trial Under New Jersey Law

Under New Jersey law, to evaluate whether a defendant’s right to a speedy trial has been violated, the court will assess the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the prejudice the delay caused the defendant and the defendant’s assertion of the right to a trial.

In assessing whether the defendant’s rights were violated in the subject case, the court found that although 551 days elapsed from the date the charges against the defendant were filed to the date of his motion for a violation of his right to a speedy trial, there was no set time period under the law that constituted a substantial delay. Further, the court found that the reasons for the delay could be attributed to both the defendant and the State.

As to the delays caused by the State, the court found that they were neither inexcusable nor grossly negligent. Regarding the element of prejudice, the court noted that the defendant had made no real allegations that he suffered prejudice due to the delay, other than the assertion that the unresolved charges caused him anxiety. Thus, the court found that the inconvenience that the delay caused the defendant did not rise to the level of a deprivation of his right to a speedy trial.

Speak with a Seasoned New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney

Simply because you are accused of a crime does not mean you no longer have rights under the law. If you are faced with New Jersey DWI charges, it is in your best interest to speak with a seasoned attorney regarding your case. The knowledgeable attorneys of The Law Offices of Johnathan F. Marshall have the skills and experience needed to help you seek a favorable result and will work diligently on your behalf. We can be reached at 877-450-8301 or through our form online to schedule a free and confidential conference to discuss your charges.