Is there anything worse than being charged with a crime? Yes – waiting years to find out what the outcome will be. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot get every case settled in a matter of days.
To better understand why some criminal cases take so long, consider the three most common reasons for the delay. If you are facing criminal charges and require the help of a criminal defense attorney, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free consultation.
There Are Some Relevant Time Limits
First and foremost, let us consider that there are a few time limits that affect how long the prosecution has to handle your case. Each type of crime has a statute of limitations, which is the time limit under which charges must be filed. If they do not file charges within that statute of limits, then they cannot legally bring charges.
Second, you do have the right to a speedy trial. However, there are extenuating circumstances that can be used to push up the timeline of a “speedy” trial.
- Court Availability
- Time Necessary to Gather Evidence
- A Trial Can Take a Long Time
There are only so many days a year that the courts are open, and the courts can only hear so many cases on a given day. It doesn’t matter if it is a personal injury case or a criminal case, one of the largest factors in how long it takes to is the availability of the court.
This does not just include the actual days you will be in court for your trial. It includes meetings that happen before the trial can take place. For example, there are likely pre-trial motions and meetings with the judge, and these all need to get onto the court calendar.
Both sides of a case want to get evidence to support their arguments. It can take time to collect evidence and properly process it. Both sides are likely to need to work with experts to learn more and find the right people to testify. They will need to take time to find witnesses. This can take weeks, months, or even longer, depending on the specifics of the case.
If a plea deal cannot be negotiated, then the case will go to trial, and the length of the trial can be long too. How long it takes will depend on how much evidence there is, how many witnesses are being called, and the complexity of the case.
If you have been charged with a crime, it can seem to take forever to find out what the outcome will be. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell, we recommend you contact us at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.