How long after being charged must you go to trial?

UPDATED: Jan 13, 2013

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How long after being charged must you go to trial?

About About 9 months ago, I was charged with misdemeanor theft which was later upgraded to a felony due to prior offenses.Then months later I was put in DOC on a parole violation for AWOL.The state never brought me to court while away and it was only when my release was approaching and me notifying them of this that they brought me to court.I’ve made it as far as a status hearing and it’s been almost 11 months since first charged. Does this in any way violate my right to a fast and speedy trial or is there anything else I can do?

Asked on January 13, 2013 under Criminal Law, Illinois


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is not a "bright line" time frame for trial because every case is slightly different and the docketing schedules of every court are different.  However, there are things you can do to get the ball rolling.

Your first step is to request a court appointed attorney if you have not done so already and talk about your case.  You may not want a trial if the facts are strong against you and you are facing an enhanced punishment range.  However, the attorney can get you back into court on a pre-trial and get a plea recommendation worked out--hopefully for a lower sentence.

If the facts against you are not very strong, then you need to request a jury trial and request a speedy trial.  For a felony, 11 months is not that long (six months would be short, two years is getting some age on it).  Right now, you are about average.  In order to invoke the right to speedy trial, you must file a motion stating that you want a trial and you are invoking your rights to a speedy trial.  From there, if you don't get a trial within a couple of months, then you could petition for a dismissal for violation of your right to a speedy trial. 

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