Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 585-9055

Ask a Defense Attorney: How Much Time Passes Between an Arrest and a Trial in California?

If you have been arrested for a crime in California then you likely have many questions. The best way to get direct answers to your specific questions is to contact a criminal defense attorney who can help. In the meantime, we will cover a question nearly everyone has after being arrested: How much time will it take for the case to get to trial?

Defendants Have a Right to a Speedy Trial

The Six Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a “speedy trial.” That term can be up to interpretation in other states, but in California our constitution has guaranteed the right as well and been more specific about it. according to Penal Code 1382, a speedy trial means:

  • A defendant in a misdemeanor case has a right to a trial within 30 – 45 days of their arraignment.
  • A defendant in a felony case has a right to a trial with 60 days of arraignment.

Generally speaking, arraignment can happen anywhere between 48 hours to a few weeks after the arrest takes place.

The Time Between Arrest and Arraignment

If a person is arrested for a misdemeanor and placed in custody after they were arrested, then they must be arraigned within 48 hours of the arrest. If they were released after the arrest, then they will be arraigned within ten days (in most cases). If they are arrested for a felony and are placed under arrest immediately, they will be arraigned within 48 hours. If they were released after their arrest, or bailed out, then they will be arraigned within weeks, or, in some cases, months after their arrest.

The Defendant Can Waive Their Right to a Speedy Trial

The defendant does have the right to a speedy trial, which can be waived by the defendant if they choose. They may need time to build a defense or may have other considerations that mean they do not want the trial to start as expected. Generally speaking, this gives the prosecution as much time as they would like to build a case.

There is one exception: If the defendant’s legal team believes that the prosecution is showing unusual delay in taking the defendant to trial, they can file a Serna motion. If it is successful, then the charges against the defendant will be dropped.

Call Today for a Free Legal Consultation with an Attorney

Now is the time to contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation. We are standing by to provide you with the answers you have to questions about your case. Whether charged with a theft crime, a drug crime, or anything in between, we are here to help you.

Law Office of Michael L. Fell - Criminal Defense Lawyer

Michael L. Fell

Have you been accused of a crime? We'll get through it together.

No matter how daunting the criminal charges against you may be, the Law Office of Michael L. Fell can provide the aggressive and effective defense representation you need to secure the best possible outcome to the case. We will stand beside you each step of the way, passionately advocating for your rights and protecting your future against the consequences of undeserved or unduly harsh punishment.