For a defendant facing criminal charges, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides the right to a speedy trial. Although there may not be an exact definition of speediness, even the most subjective interpretations would not stand for a ten-year incarceration period without trial. Yet that is the predicament facing one defendant accused of shooting a man in connection with a drug deal.
According to the allegations, the defendant and two of his friends entered an apartment complex with the intention of purchasing marijuana. When they discovered that the dealer wasn’t home, they attempted to rob another tenant whose door was open, and shot that tenant in the process.
The defendant experienced a number of complications with his appointed counsel. One had a perceived conflict of interest and was removed by the court. The second counsel appointed to represent the defendant hired a private investigator and reportedly rescheduled trial dates several times before the defendant requested new counsel. Now, after ten years, the man’s case may be finally headed to trial.
Our criminal defense law firm has represented many clients facing drug charges, including alleged acts of violence arising from the alleged drug transactions. When assault or homicide is added to drug crime charges, the penalties can be very serious. For some charges, there may be mandatory minimum sentences.
While it is important to thoroughly investigate the arrest record and review police conduct, we also fight for procedural rights throughout the criminal defense process. Indefinite incarceration is not acceptable. To learn more about our practice, visit our Baltimore criminal defense web page.
Source: Associated Press, “Correction: Decade in Jail-No Trial story,” Kim Chandler, Feb. 22, 2017