Speedy Trials in Arizona Criminal Cases and COVID-19

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Jun 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that people who are subject to a criminal prosecution have the right to a "speedy" trial before an impartial jury of their peers.  The right to a speedy trial is also included within Article II Section 24 of the Arizona State Constitution.  

To protect a criminal defendant's speedy trial rights, the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that people who are in custody must be brought to trial within 150 days of their arraignment.  "In custody" generally refers to defendants who are being held at a county jail facility in lieu of bond and are awaiting trial.  For people who have been released from jail while their criminal case is pending, trial must occur within 180 days of arraignment.  Certain matters which have been designated as "Complex Cases" such as murder or charges involving numerous witnesses or scientific evidence must be brought to trial within 270 days.  The time limits for trials in death penalty cases is two years from the date upon which a notice to seek the death penalty is filed by a prosecutor.  As many people charged with felony, misdemeanor and DUI offenses in Arizona often experience, these time limits are routinely extended for various reasons.  However, violations of a defendant's speedy trial rights can lead to a dismissal of criminal charges against him or her.

With the spread on COVID 19 beginning in February and the current spike in cases, the Arizona Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily suspending the Rules of Criminal Procedure pertaining to the time a person must be brought to trial. This is referred to as "Rule 8."  Moreover, the superior, justice and city courts have halted jury trial through the beginning of July.  Consequently, this has resulted in a backlog of cases and will cause people to incur delays in resolving their pending criminal charges.

Despite the misfortune of having to remain in custody while a case is pending or enduring a lengthy delay prior to trial, there are a number of advantages which may arise.  The phrase "time is on your side" certainly applies to people who have been charged with criminal offenses.  Delay often causes prosecutors difficulty in keeping track of witnesses.  Moreover, memories fade and people may begin to doubt their willingness to come and testify in court.  Finally, additional time allows defense attorneys to research legal issues, locate favorable witnesses,  conduct further investigation and potentially negotiate a much more favorable outcome.  Consequently, if your case is being delayed by the coronavirus or for any other reason, you are well advised to focus on the positive results which may occur rather than demand your trial proceed as quickly as possible.        


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Raymond Kimble is a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer with vast experience in defending DUI, marijuana, felony and misdemeanor offenses. Mr. Kimble has successfully defended clients who have been charged with criminal offenses throughout the city, superior and justice courts in Arizona. Mr. Kimble represents people who have been arrested in Maricopa County Superior Court, Pinal County Superior Court and in cities throughout the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Goodyear, Surprise, Buckeye, Apache Junction, etc.  

About the Author

Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.


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