Kelly L. Rooth, Shareholder
Florida law provides that a person charged with a misdemeanor must be brought to trial within 90 days of arrest. If trial does not begin in 90 days, the defendant can file a notice of expiration of speedy trial. The court must hold a hearing on the speedy trial issue and may then order trial within ten days. If trial does not occur in ten days, the defendant can then be discharged from the crime.
In Thomas v. State, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge William Fuente affirmed the trial court’s decision that the defendant charged with driving under the influence did not waive his right to speedy trial by being silent when his trial date was set after the expiration of the speedy trial period. In other words, the defendant’s silence did not constitute a waiver.
However, the court went on to reason that because the defendant did not file a notice of expiration of speedy trial before the day his trial commenced, he abandoned the issue. Judge Fuente held the trial court correctly decided that the defendant could not be discharged from the DUI and affirmed the judgment and conviction.