Serna Motion and Speedy Trial: Does Your Case Qualify for Dismissal?

speedy trial

You have a right to a speedy trial. However, when things cannot happen in an expedited manner, you may qualify to have your case dismissed. As with many laws, exemptions apply. Therefore, you need the guidance of a lawyer who long history of practicing law in California and knows your case.

What Is a Serna Motion?

A Serna motion, or speedy trial motion, refers to the original ruling in a 1985 case of Serna v. California Superior Court. In this ruling, the court decided that prolonging court cases without reason violated the defendant’s constitutional rights. Plus, it provided grounds for dismissing the charges due to the delay. Because the court must show good reason for delaying or the defendant must agree to a delay, whether the Serna motion applies is difficult to decide. A well-practiced defense lawyer can help.

What Is a Speedy Trial Right?

The right to a speedy trial in California sets limits on how long after arraignment the court has to bring forth the defendant. For misdemeanor or infraction cases, this time is 30 to 45 days. However, felony charges may delay trial up to 60 days after arraignment before speedy trial rights become a problem and dismissal of the case is possible.

Does Your Trial Qualify for a Serna Motion?

For your case to qualify for a Serna motion, the trial must experience a delay of longer than the allotted time based on the level of crime. Secondly, your defense lawyer must file a Serna speedy trial motion. This happens during the pretrial phase. Lastly, there must not be a good reason for the delay or an agreement to a later trial date by the defendant.

Consult with a Defense Attorney Who Will Work for You

Get advice from a legal professional who researches your case and puts it in perspective of new and existing cases. This careful planning in your case could help you in court. Connect with us at The Law Offices of Steven K. Bloom if you are in Orange County and need help with your legal case.



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