How Long Does It Take For A Buffalo Drinking And Driving Case To Go To Trial?

While most Buffalo residents are familiar with the idea that anyone arrested for a crime – including drinking and driving – is entitled to a “speedy trial,” there are really no hard and fast rules regarding how long a delay there can be in bringing a DWI case to trial.

Generally, the law requires that following a misdemeanor drinking and driving offense, the prosecution must be ready for trial within 90 days.

If the charge is a felony level drinking and driving offense, the prosecution must be ready for trial within six months.

When calculating how many days have passed, however, delays caused by the actions of the defendant – such as court adjournments requested by the defendant – are not included in the time period.

Moreover, while the law requires the prosecution to be ready for trial within a set time limit, there is no actual requirement that a trial actually take place before the end of that time period.

When the trial is actually scheduled to take place will depend on other factors such as how busy the court is.

While the court is required to give preference to criminal cases over civil cases, in a busy court there may be a substantial delay in obtaining a trial date.

While the trial cannot be delayed indefinitely without the possibility of having the charges dismissed, it is very unusual for drinking and driving charges to be dismissed based on failure to grant the defendant a speedy trial unless the case has simply dropped off the court calendar for a prolonged period with no effort to proceed with the prosecution.

In fact, in cases where the defendant has agreed to enter a court operated alcohol treatment program or otherwise pursue counseling prior to trial, it is not that unusual for a defendant to agree to lengthy delay in the prosecution of drinking and driving charges.

If you are being prosecuted for DWI and need legal help, call us at 585-484-7432 for a legal consultation.

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