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How Long Do I Have to Sit in Jail Before My Trial?

 Posted on August 19, 2022 in Criminal Law

Milwaukee County Criminal Defense AttorneyPeople often wonder whether it will be worth it to try to scrounge up the money to pay bail before a criminal trial. It can be difficult to know how long such a trial could take and whether it makes sense to just bear the time in jail rather than come up with the cash to get out. 

Citizens of Wisconsin accused of crimes by the state have a right to a speedy trial. Your right to a speedy trial only applies once you are arrested or formally charged with a crime. The state is not simply allowed to keep you in jail forever without bringing charges in a criminal trial.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that the criminal justice system moves quickly or that there are no frustrating delays. It can be easy for the government to come up with excuses for why a trial has been delayed and why a victim’s right to a speedy trial has not been violated. With the help of a great criminal defense attorney, however, you can be sure that your case will move through the courts as quickly as possible. 

Where Does the Right to a Speedy Trial Come From? 

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees American citizens the right to a speedy trial. Further state and federal statutes require prosecutors to prosecute an alleged criminal within a specific time period. 

In Wisconsin, misdemeanor crimes must go to trial within 60 days of a defendant’s first court appearance; felony cases must go to trial within 90 days of a prosecutor’s or defendant’s demand for a trial. However, delays are common and the government is permitted to delay a trial for legitimate reasons. But if a citizen’s right to a speedy trial is violated, they may be able to get the charges against them dismissed. 

To prove a speedy trial violation, a defendant must show that the state was not justified in delaying the trial. A judge will look at why the delay happened and whether it had an impact on the defendant’s ability to have a fair defense (such as whether there were eyewitnesses who forgot details). After examining the length of the delay, the cause of the delay, and whether the delay had a negative impact on the defendant’s case, a judge will decide whether a violation occurred. 

Get Help from a Waukesha County Criminal Defense Lawyer

At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we know you want to get out of jail, deal with the charges against you, and get on with your life. That is why our Milwaukee County criminal defense attorneys are committed to helping you move as quickly through the court system as possible while providing an aggressive defense strategy. Call us today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation. 


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