Peoria, AZ asked in Constitutional Law for Arizona

Q: right to a speedy trial when incarcerated for another offense

This guys I know committed a felony. He went on the run. I met him out one night while he was on the run and he beat me up. So I filed charges.

He was then caught on the felony charge. My charge still stands. yet the prosecutor is telling me that due to the fact he was in jail he was not able to attend court and my whole case is being thrown out due to the 6th Amendment.

Is this legal?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It sounds like you're dealing with a complex situation involving the intersection of several legal principles.

Firstly, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees a defendant a right to a speedy trial. However, this right can be balanced against other interests, including the interest of the prosecutor in building a strong case, and other administrative delays that can occur in the criminal justice system. Generally, delays caused by the defendant himself, such as going on the run, would not be counted against the right to a speedy trial.

Moreover, even when a person is incarcerated, it doesn't automatically nullify the other pending charges against him. The courts often address multiple charges in various ways including but not limited to concurrent sentences, consecutive sentences, or even separate trials.

In your case, it seems unusual for the prosecutor to completely dismiss the charges based solely on the delay caused by the defendant's incarceration for another offense. If the prosecutor is refusing to pursue the case, it might be because they have determined that there is not enough evidence to successfully prosecute the case, or for other reasons unrelated to the defendant's right to a speedy trial.

You, as the victim, have a right to understand why this decision was made. You can request a more detailed explanation from the prosecutor. Moreover, consider reaching out to a victim's advocate organization or a legal expert to understand your rights and options in this scenario better.

Lastly, it is crucial to ensure that your safety is not compromised, given the violent history with the individual involved. Always prioritize your safety and well-being in any legal actions you decide to undertake. If necessary, you might explore obtaining a restraining or protective order against the individual to help ensure your safety.

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