The Statute of Limitations (“SOL”) governs how long the State has to bring a charge against you after the date that a crime has been committed and it varies based upon the degree of the crime. Florida Statute 775.15 says that a prosecution for either a capital or a life felony has no SOL and can be commenced at any time, for a 1st degree felony the SOL is 4 years, for any other felony (2nd or 3rd degree) the SOL is 3 years, for a 1st degree misdemeanor its 2 years and for a 2nd degree misdemeanor the SOL is 1 year. That said some things, like a) lawful issuance of a warrant or b) continuous absence from the jurisdiction will “toll” (stop / suspend) the SOL (meaning that time, as measured by the SOL, literally stands still), and some crimes have carved out exceptions to the SOL based upon their nature (i.e. sexual battery, fraud, etc).
Speedy Trial refers to how much time the State has to take you to trial after you have been charged with a crime, and this is both a Constitutional and a statutory right. Rule 3.191(a), the Speedy Trial Rule, kicks in from the date of booking or Arraignment (whichever comes first) and allows the State 90 days in the case of a misdemeanor or 175 days in the case of a felony to commence a trial. For the Rule to apply the State must fail to being you to trial within the time frame through no fault of the Defendant, and the Defendant must not be responsible for any delay. Expiration of the 90 / 175 day time frame does not result in an automatic dismissal; rather it triggers a 15 day “window of recapture” and requires a very precise process by defense counsel to honor the Rule’s requirements.
Very few cases are either “won” because of the Speedy Trial Rule or avoided by the SOL, but it does happen. A skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer will always look for these (and other issues) when considering the “global” picture of a given criminal case.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:
Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
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