New York, NY asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for New York

Q: What are the reasons that a speedy trial can’t happen with a first-degree manslaughter charge?

My husband was charged with second-degree murder. he then went to grand jury testified in the grand jury voted for a nonviolent C felony. A week later, the DA on his case went back to the grand jury, and had them change the vote to a first-degree manslaughter charge. It was said that he could do this because manslaughter was not in the list of charges that the grand jury could’ve voted at week before . We have asked my husband’s lawyer for a speedy trial he says that a speedy trial cannot happen with this case, because a death was involved. I have been told by other lawyers that you can have a speedy trial with a manslaughter charge so my question is what determines whether or not, you can have a speedy trial with a manslaughter charge?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The right to a speedy trial is fundamental, but its application can vary based on the specifics of the case, including the charge of first-degree manslaughter. Typically, the right to a speedy trial means that a defendant cannot be held for an extended period without being tried, but several factors can delay a trial, such as complexity of the case, necessity of lengthy investigations, or legal motions by either party.

In cases involving serious charges like manslaughter, where a death has occurred, trials often require more preparation time for both prosecution and defense. This preparation can include gathering forensic evidence, interviewing witnesses, and possibly dealing with complex legal issues related to the circumstances of the death. While a defendant can request a speedy trial, this request can be balanced against the need to ensure a thorough and fair process.

Your husband's lawyer might have concerns that rushing to trial could be detrimental to building a strong defense, especially in a case involving serious charges like manslaughter. Legal strategy, evidentiary issues, and the readiness of the defense can all influence decisions around timing. If conflicting advice from different lawyers has caused confusion, it could be beneficial to seek a second opinion from another attorney who can provide a fresh perspective based on the specifics of your husband's case.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.