Why criminal cases can take a long time to resolve
What is taking so long with my case? “I want to hire you because the lawyer I have right now is taking too long with my case, and he’s not doing anything to fix my situation!” We get that question, and or hear that comment on an almost weekly basis. If is not uncommon for some clients to get downright angry at the length of their case. Usually, they blame the criminal defense attorney for these frustrations. As such, we thought it fitting to write a blog explaining why criminal cases take a long time to resolve, who controls the scheduling of a criminal case, and what factors may influence the length of a case.
Like all of our other blogs, this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney. We hope that by the end of this blog, you realize that your criminal defense has no desire to just sit around, twiddling our thumbs, and make your case drag out forever. Such a practice wouldn’t make any sense for anyone involved. Criminal defense attorneys have nothing to gain from prolonging a criminal matter and typically wish to resolve cases as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Who controls the scheduling of criminal cases?
There are a lot of legal questions with very complicated answers. This is not one of them. The prosecutor controls it.
- In North Carolina criminal courts the prosecutor, for the most part, decides when a case is called.
- In South Carolina criminal Courts the prosecutor, for the most part, decides when a case is called.
- In Federal criminal Courts the prosecutor, for the most part, decides when a criminal case is called.
Short of disclosing if he or she would have any schedule conflicts, the criminal defense attorney has very little to do with this.
What factors determined how long my case will take?
The factors that determine how long something will take vary but can include many of the following:
- What charges you are facing
- How long it takes the police department to conclude their investigation and turn all the information over to the state or federal government
- The availability of witnesses
- Lab results
- The number of cases of that category that commenced before your current case
- The level of criminal court that a case is in (e.g., district versus superior)
- The priority level that the prosecutor has assigned to your case
If you know of a loved one that is in jail, has been there fore a while, and you are getting frustrated, chances are the criminal defense attorney on the case is frustrated as well. We don’t like these cases to drag out any more than our clients do.
We understand that are clients are people with loved one and responsibilities. We do the very best to handle our client matters in the most efficient way possible. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact us.