How Long Does a Florida Criminal Case Take? West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
Hi folks, today i want to talk to yo about time involved in criminal cases. Im driving home tonight and i actually got out of the office first time in forever at 5:35pm so I'm feeling pretty good, there is a little bit of light left. I got about 15 minutes until darkness but what i wanted to talk to you about is criminal cases and misdemeanor felonies and the time it takes to get to the final disposition. So basically for the court to end your case. Well i had a client recently that was charged with domestic violence and the young lady was very upset, came to my office and saying how long is this going to take, and i thought that i had explained it at our first interview when she hired me but apparently i probably didnt do the best communication and she obviously didnt understand and she comes back. It was only a week later but i explained to her that if your case is no file, meaning that the state declines to move forward on the charges, then they usually have up to 40 days. most times as a defense attorney we will have an answer between 21 and 30 days and i would say 30 days, and the reason i do that because respectfully i dont want a client to call me on the 21st day then on the 22nd day, kind of like the kid in the back seat who keeps asking, are we there yet?! I dont want to do that and cause them stress so i just tell them hey give me 30 days before i have an answer of you, so again i thought that i had conveyed this to the young lady but apparently either i didnt say it properly or i miscommunicated or she didnt understand. Either way, no problem, you know my job is to help people so i explained it to her but i said to myself you know what i dont think that I've done a video on this and i think its important than people realize that if the case is not filed, you'll have an answer 30-40 days for sure case gone. Now, can the state bring the case back? Yes they can! It doesn't happen all of the time but it does happen and there are just certain exceptions to where that kind of situation could occur. Now lets say for instance if they dump the case and they dont file it an they dont go forward, the case is over and you're going to send me a christmas card and you're going to write me a wonderful review and say that I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Everyone who knows me knows that that is not the truth but if they filed the case, lets say that they filed the average misdemeanor, and if I'm litigating it meaning if I'm taking depositions, if I'm filing motions, if I'm considering trial, my average case is probably a year to a year and a half,usually about 14 months. If its a felony, you're in that same range but maybe a little longer, maybe you are looking at a year to a year and a half, I've had felony cases that have gone 2 to 3 years. But on average your 3rd degree felony, your second degree felony, usually between a year and a half, we've moved forward and we've come to some conclusion. Well obviously the goal is to hit a home run, right , just knock it out of the park at case filing and convince them that they dont have enough to go forward that the likelihood of success on sustaining conviction of convicting my client is so low that its not even worth filing. Thats what my goal is on every case, but sometimes clients come to me after the filing period. If you snooze you lose because we missed that opportunity. So when the case is filed, what happens? Well its a long process. First i have to get all of the discovery, discovery is going to take like 30 to 60 days and on more serious cases it takes much longer than that. When you are dealing with economic crimes, when you are dealing with trafficking cases, the reality is that it takes the prosecutor time to get all of those documents. Yes you can jump up and down and you can demand discovery and pursue it to 3.220 and they have to give it to me in a certain amount of time. Look, you are not trying to piss off the people who are prosecuting you, right, you're trying to work with them now sometimes you gotta piss them off thats the reality, but not over something like this as long as my client is out of custody, hey state attorney take your time, and as long as you need to get it to me, no problem as you acknowledge that its taken you some time to get it, so when the judge is jumping me saying Mr. Foley whats going on with the case, how come you're not moving it? Well its because I'm still waiting on discovery, isn't that right mr/ mrs state attorney. As long as we have that relationship and everybody respects one another, we're okay. If you're not in custody the only thing that you should be doing is my client is paying me and praying for me that i do the best job that i can do.