Cliff Bidlingmaier was successful in having a possession of a controlled dangerous substance charge dismissed. Cliff filed a Motion to Dismiss and supporting legal memorandum based upon the argument that the delay had violated the Defendant’s Rights to a Speedy Trial. After oral argument the court dismissed the charge.
The Sixth Amendment protects a defendant’s right to a speedy trial. State v. Long, 119 N.J. 439, 469 (1990) (citing United States v. Macdonald, 456 U.S. 1 (1982)). The New Jersey Supreme Court views the right to a speedy trial as “one of the fundamental safeguards of the individual against the overreaching of the State.” State v. Davis, 131 N.J. Super. 484, 494 (1974). “We have long recognized that the right to speed trial extends to quasi-criminal matters pending in municipal courts, and we have applied the Barker four-factor analysis to speedy trial claims.” State v. Cahill 213 NJ 253 (NJ 2013).
In the seminal case of Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), the Supreme Court, analyzed whether a defendant’s right to a speedy trial had been violated. The Court recognized that this right to a speedy trial was “fundamental.” Id. at 525. The Court stated that it is impossible to determine with precision when a person’s right to a speedy trial has been violated, but that cases need to be examined on an “ad hoc” basis. Id. at 521. The Barker Court, could not definitely say how long was too long in a “system where justice is supposed to be swift but deliberate.” Ibid. Moreover, the Court clearly stated that the State bears the burden to bring the defendant to trial, but to also assure that the trial and procedures are consistent with due process. Id. at 527, 529.
The Supreme Court has created a four-part “balancing test” to assist in an analysis of claim of a violation of a defendant’s Sixth-Amendment right to a speedy trial. Id. at 530. The factors to be considered are:
(1) The length of delay
(2) The reasons for the delay
(3) The assertion of the defendant’s speedy trial right
(4) The prejudice to the defendant caused by the delay
Id. at 530.
When charged with a criminal matter contact Bidlingmaier & Bidlingmaier for your free consultation.