Speedy trial rights and the 10 day rule

If you are ever in court and hear cases referred to as being on day “zero of ten” or ” ____ of 10″ – what does that mean?

There are two typical scenarios where the ten days comes into play.

First is for a preliminary hearing on a felony case, but that ten days is ten COURT DAYS, so is typically not referred to as 0/10.  They may say that a case is on “day 3” or some other day, but criminal lawyers understand that to mean how many court days from the arraignment until the preliminary hearing.

More likely, the scenario is for trial. In a misdemeanor case, you have a right to a trial within 30 calendar days of your arraignment (first appearance in court and not guilty plea) if you’re in custody at the time of arraignment or 45 days if you’re out of custody. As long as your trial begins within those time frames, it’s valid.

On a felony case, you have a right to a trial within 60 calendar days of your arraignment on the information (charging document filed after a preliminary hearing) or indictment (charging document following a grand jury).

On either a felony or misdemeanor, if you go beyond those statutory time frames and waive time for trial, a new date is set for trial. Assuming you haven’t entered a “general time waiver”, your trial must begin on that new date or within 10 calendar days. The date your case is set is “day zero.” The next day is day one and so on. The case must begin on or before the 10th day or you’re entitled to a dismissal of the case.

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