Many people in Maryland know that they have a right to a lawyer or an attorney,
based on the Sixth Amendment. While this part of the law has become popular,
that is by no means all that the Amendment does. It also gives people
the right to a speedy trial, and that trial is supposed to be carried
out by a jury that has no bias regarding the case. What does this really mean?
At its essence, this part of the Amendment just means that things cannot
drag on for too long after a person is arrested on state or
federal charges. After all, they may be held in jail until their trial. Whether they are
guilty or innocent — but especially if they are innocent and expect
to be released — they want to to get to court quickly to get things
sorted out. The Sixth Amendment promises that this will happen.
Now, the problem can be in deciding exactly what is meant by a reasonable
length of time that the trial can be delayed. Many states have set forth
time limits; however, there can be various delays that are excusable,
and it really depends on what type of charges have been filed and the
specifics of the individual case, so no two cases may end up being exactly the same.
However, the most important thing to know is that the violation of the
right to a quick trial could get the case thrown out entirely. If a person
feels that they have been kept waiting for too long, they can ask the
court to dismiss the case. The court then has to decide if the delay was
justified or if the person’s rights were actually violated.