I have been charged with telephone misuse, maryland code 3-804. When I went to district court on 1/16/13 I chose at that time a jury trial. So far I have operated pro se. I went to district court on 2/7/13 and I was told that the trial date would be 5/10/13. The summons ended up saying 5/23/13. This is 270 days since the charge was filed. The judge told me by exercising my right to a jury trial that I automatically waived my right to a speedy trial (180 days).
My questions: 1 Did I waive my speedy trial right by selecting a jury trial; and 2 If not, when did the 180 day count begin.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your speedy trial rights are not that cut and dried. They are not always implicated in a District Court case, and waiver in the Circuit Court can be dependent on a number of factors, such as the reasons for delay, the length, whether you asserted the right, and prejudice. And it is not up to the court to make this determination on its own. You need to raise it, yourself or through counsel, in a motion to dismiss the case. That motion must recite and discuss the case authorities.
Unless you explicitly waive the right to a speedy trial in open court or in writing, then you have not waived it. That said, the 180 day when he begins to run when you first appear in Circuit Court not District. Even then, going beyond 180 days does not automatically result in dismissal. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to go to trial. Consider seeking a confidential consultation.
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