Police mistakenly arrested a man for drug possession. Joseph Burrell was charged with two counts of drug possession, which is a felony. He was jailed for four months and was released when it was revealed that he had vitamins on him, not drugs. A bag of powder was found in his car. The BCA did a test and found that the powder was not illegal. The drug possession charges were then dismissed before his trial was scheduled.
He had finished a drug treatment program when he was first stopped and has a number of charges on his record. He has prior drug charges, domestic assault, stalking, and kidnapping charges. He was originally pulled over for driving without his lights on. Burrell should have asked for a speedy trial at his first appearance.
What is a speedy trial?
In Minnesota, defendants have a right to request a speedy trial. A speedy trial demand means that the trial is to be heard within 60 days. The United States Constitution and the Minnesota Constitution guarantee a defendant with the right to a speedy trial. U.S. Const. amend. VI; Minn.Const. art. I, § 6. To determine whether this right has been violated in Minnesota, four factors must be balanced: the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of the right, and the prejudice to the defendant during the delay. Defendants may want to request a speedy trial if they are in custody. Otherwise, it may not be a good strategic move. Another issue with a speedy trial demand is that the defense attorney may not have enough time to evaluate the evidence and prepare for trial.
How to make a speedy trial demand?
A defense lawyer should let the court know that a demand was made. This can be done with a demand for speedy trial motion pursuant to Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 6.06 (misdemeanor) and 11.10 (gross misdemeanor or felony).The trial should be commenced within sixty (60) days from the date of the demand or the entry of a plea of not guilty, whichever is later, or within ten (10) days if the defendant is in custody for a misdemeanor.
An attorney can also make a speedy trial demand orally but is best documented with a written motion with it. An attorney also should not waive to speedy trial demand at any time and can assert it at each appearance. If your speedy trial right has been violated, you may have grounds for an appeal. If your speedy trial rights have been violated, you should contact an experienced criminal lawyer to fight for you.
Keller Law Offices is also experienced with the defenses to drug crimes such as mistake of evidence, alternate perpetrator, and legal prescription medications. Alternate defenses may include constitutional rights violations such as improper searches and seizures. Individuals have the right to remain silent to avoid making an incriminating statement.
Drug charges are serious offenses in Minnesota and can lead to serious jail time. You will need a criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with a crime. Keller Law Offices offers free consultations and has handled cases similar to Burrell’s case. Call 952-913-1421 if you have been charged with drug possession. The lawyers at Keller Law Offices will fight for you and ensure that every argument is made. The criminal defense lawyers at Keller Law Offices have been successful in getting charges dismissed before trial and have also been successful in getting acquittals in jury trials. The attorneys at Keller Law Offices have also made speedy trial demands before and are experienced with the process.