In Pennsylvania, an accused has a right to a speedy trial. Contact a Chester County Criminal Lawyer Specifically, under Rule 600, the government has 365 days to bring a Defendant to trial. If an accused has not been brought to trial within 365 days, and has also not continued or delayed his case from coming to trial, the charges against him must be dismissed by the Court. In another words, if the government, through no fault of the defendant, in unable to bring a Defendant to trial within a year of his being charged, the charges must be dismissed according to Rule 600.
Rule 600 applies not only when a criminal Defendant is aware that he was charged with a crime, but it also applies when the Defendant was charged with a crime and isn’t aware that the police have charged him. In Pennsylvania, if a Defendant is unaware that he has been charged with a crime and has not hid or fled from the police, he may also be able to get his case dismissed under Rule 600 if his case doesn’t come to trial in a year. In cases where a Defendant has been charged, but doesn’t know about the arrest warrant, the charges should against him should be dismissed unless the government can prove that they used due diligence in trying to find him
Due diligence has been described as follows:
The “due diligence” required of police does not demand perfect vigilance and punctilious care, but rather a reasonable effort by the police to find the Defendant.
So what is a reasonable effort? Pennsylvania Courts have found that a single unsuccessful visit to the homes of two relatives of a Defendant followed a month and a half later by a police officer dropping a card off at the accused mother’s residence with a request to be contacted should the accused come calling was not a reasonable effort by the police.
If you are charged with a crime, make sure that you hire an experienced criminal lawyer who knows about your Right to a Speedy Trial under the constitution and Rule 600. See Also Evan Kelly gets case dismissed via Rule 600