If you are accused of a crime, the prosecutor must bring your case to trial within a specific amount of time, or your case can be dismissed.
New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 30.30 sets out the time periods for New York prosecutions.
According to this section, the prosecution must be ready for trial within:
- Six months if any of the charges is a felony
- Ninety days for misdemeanors that carry a potential jail sentence of more than three months, usually class A misdemeanors and Driving While Intoxicated misdemeanors.
- Sixty days for misdemeanors that carry a potential jail sentence of less than three months, usually class B misdemeanors.
- Thirty days for non-criminal violations, such as disorderly conduct and some harassment violations.
Keep in mind that these time periods begin to run at the “commencement of a criminal action.”
States have enacted speedy trial laws because of the rights granted a citizen by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution :
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
Although the above may seem straightforward, in practice the nuances of this law can get pretty complicated. Therefore, it is important to consult your lawyer to fully understand your rights under this section.
Again, do not rely on representations made in this article regarding the current state of the law. Statutes change frequently. Also, nothing contained here should be considered legal advice. Nothing takes the place of obtaining advice from your own lawyer.