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General Procedure and Timeline For A Drug Related Charge


What Is The General Procedure And Timeline For A Drug Related Case?

Generally speaking, from arrest to case conclusion, a misdemeanor’s speedy trial rule is going to be ninety days. However, cases are often continued. Frequently, a notice of discovery will be filed under rule 3.220(b), which requires a state to assemble a great deal of information that they get from law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement agencies sometimes will send most of the material but not all of it, thus necessitating a continuance. So if the case is continued, the timeframe can be longer. Generally, people are advised to expect two to three months. If the attorney can get it over sooner, painlessly, or as relatively painless as possible and it meets the client’s needs, then it can be shorter than two months.

If the case is more complicated than usual, then it may take longer than three months and the attorney might need continuances. Either way, the attorney is going to want each client to execute a waiver of speedy trial in writing. This way, if they do need to continue a case and continuances are very common, then they do not have to have somebody come, stop what they are doing, go to court, sit around for four to six hours, hear the attorney speak, get another set of court dates and walk out the courtroom. Even for a local resident, that is a significant burden. Such situations have cost people their jobs; have caused people to lose out on educational opportunities or to flunk classes or even entire grade levels in high school and college. Therefore, keeping people out of court for proceedings that are not that important to the outcome for them is very important.

In terms of a felony, people are given a general guideline of five to seven months, although the actual speedy trial rule is one hundred and seventy-five days. With a normal felony, it is five to seven months, but if it is a major felony that can easily be a much longer timeframe. If a case settles or is dismissed or has some other type of outcome, then that may come happen sooner. I once had a felony case that lasted just five days, which is a record and probably will not happen again. However, generally, people should budget five to seven months for felony. That is particularly true if someone is a tourist or a military service member who may be deployed elsewhere, may PCS to another duty station, or may be on temporary duty. Keeping them out of court for these types of proceedings is very important because the legal fees and the cost of transportation can be equivalent simply because there are so many court proceedings under Florida criminal law. Therefore, it is very important to keep people out of court unless something useful and important is going to occur.

Find out the General Procedure and Timeline for a Drug Related Charge in Florida or call Attorney Stephen G. Cobb of the Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm in Florida for a FREE Initial Consultation at (850) 466-1522 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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