My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
Texas says the state has 180 days to go to trial
if the charge is a felony, 90 if it's a misdmeanor that has a jail possibility of more than 6 months, and 60 days for lower level misdmeanors and violations.
Speedy trial laws are much more complicated than they seem, however, even in New York. On paper they look great, but the only time that counts for speedy trial purposes are the dates when the only party not ready for trial is the DA. So the case can go on for a long time, but if the defense is the one either asking for or consenting to a continuance, that time doesn't count. The speedy trial time stops and starts. It can take a long time to rack up 90 days. A delay of a year or more does not mean your speedy trial rights have been violated.
The US Supreme Court
requires a 4-part balancing test that they spelled out in Barker v. Wingo when it comes to making speedy trial decisions. This is what most states follow, and Texas is no exception. Courts determine a speedy trial violation not by how old the case is but by
(1) the length of delay;
(2) the reason for the delay;
(3) the assertion of the right to speedy trial by the accused; and
(4) the prejudice to the accused resulting from the delay.
Using this balancing test, States have held that even a year's delay is not a denial of a defendant's right to a speedy trial, depending upon the facts and the balancing test above.
So 90 days is not 90 consecutive days. It is 90 days where everybody is ready for trial except for the state. The only days that count toward speedy trial dismissal are the ones where the delay is solely due to the prosecutor. So, if your lawyer asks for an adjournment, that adjournment doesn't count. If motions are pending, those adjournments don't count. If your lawyer is sick or on vacation or another trial, that doesn't count. If the DA is ready to proceed but there is no judge to hear the case, that adjournment doesn't count either.
If you think your speedy trial time has run out, you need to discuss a speedy trial motion with your attorney and ask him why he hasn't filed a speedy trial motion. He should be able to tell you. In my experience, both the defense and the prosecutor keep a close eye on the speedy trial clock, and very few cases actually can get dismissed on speedy trial grounds,despite how long they stick around.