I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of criminal law experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.
When a complaint is issued, the defendant is either arrested or issued a summons to appear in court for a preliminary arraignment. It will occur within 72 hours of arrest. It is the type of preliminary trial common in Pennsylvania. The preliminary arraignment may take longer due to weekends or holidays. You will receive written charges, bond is set at this time if not already, and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.
The preliminary hearing must occur from three to 10 days after arrest. It may be postponed for reasonable circumstances. This is not a guilt or innocence proceeding but will determine if sufficient evidence is available to hold the case for before a judge or jury in the Court of Common Pleas.
The formal arraignment should come shortly after the preliminary hearing. In Pennsylvania a defendant should be brought to trial within 180 days. Prosecution must bring your case to trial within a certain period of time. Non-homicide cases must be ready to try in six months of filing of the felony complaint; misdemeanors, within 90 days. These dates can be moved, within reason, based on circumstances...such as continuances requested by the defense, large court dockets, holidays, etc. However, by in large, this is the way it is supposed to work.
Your friend appears to have had his rights egregiously violated here. I suggest that you contact the ACLU in Pennsylvania and request that they intervene on his behalf in view of this gross violation of his rights.
Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.
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Best wishes going forward!