How Long will my Court Case Last?

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

It depends on what type of case, where the case occurred and the court to which it is assigned.  Some cases have a tendency to be fast and others are typically slower.  The biggest single factor is typically evidence which must be analyzed such as lab evidence or computer forensics.  Cases without those components have less impediments.

This said, other complex cases obviously drag on a bit too.

Slower Cases:

  • DWI with blood draws
  • Drug Cases other than Marijuana
  • Computer Charges
    • Online Harassment
    • Hacking
    • Possession of Child Pornography
  • Sex Charges
    • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual Assault of a Child
    • Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
  • White Collar Theft
    • Embezzlement
    • Money Laundering
  • Engaging in Organized Criminal Activities
  • Crimes against persons which  have complex medical records/ issues

 

Quicker Cases:

  • Assault
    • Assault/ Family Violence
    • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • Retail Theft
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • DWI without blood testing
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Crimes against persons (without medical records)

 

Just how Quick (or Slow) will a Particular Case Be?

You can expect most Collin County Misdemeanors to last between 6 and 12 months from the date of arrest until a trial/ dismissal/ or plea bargain.  Felonies tend to be more complicated so those usually take longer.

Most of our courts have efficient dockets – meaning the cases move relatively quickly.  Some courts might have a glut of cases for various reasons and by luck-of-the-draw your case may take more time.

Other jurisdictions such as Dallas County simply have more real-world issues to contend with such as insufficient funding, high turn-over with court staff, or inexperienced prosecutors which can compound delays.  It should be no surprise that in general the bigger the county, the slower the case may be.

What Control do We Have in How Fast or Slow a Case Takes?

Some.  We can’t control how long an investigation, grand jury, or prosecutor takes to do their job… but we can control whether or not any delays are because of us.  Some clients want a case to move quickly and others prefer the case take a while for their own reasons.  We can do our best to affect either.

What About My Right to a Speedy Trial?

Analysis for speedy trial is multifaceted and analyzes more than merely calendar time.  Part of the analysis is about the reaons for any delay, whose fault delay may be (the prosecutor, the defense, or in many instances — the Judge).  Another component of the analysis is what degree of harm was suffered by Defense by the delay?  Stress and anxiety are parts — but the loss of evidence (such as a witness moving) could play a role too in speedy trial analysis.

“Tough-on-Crime” Courts have done much in Texas to gnaw away much of Speedy trial rights and privileges… so normally trying to have a case dismissed for lack of speedy trial isn’t typically my first preference.

Bottom Line

You won’t get a really sharp estimate for how long your specific case will take on the internet.  Sorry!  You’ll just have to run that question by a lawyer who is familiar enough with all the players and factors involved.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is an attorney licensed to practice in Texas.  He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He was Designated as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters in 2019.

 

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