Nov 12, 2009 When does the speedy trial clock start running anew?
When does the speedy trial clock start running anew?
Under Maryland law, a recharge after a nolle prosequi generally re-starts the 180-day Maryland speedy trial clock, unless the prosecutor has acted in bad faith. For instance, if a Maryland prosecutor enters a nolle prosequi after a judge denies a motion to amend the date on a charging document — within the 180-day state speedy trial period — and then recharges the alleged crime, Maryland’s 180-day clock restarts after the charges are refiled:
“The severe sanction of a Hicks [180-day rule] dismissal is reserved for situations where the State seeks to circumvent the strictures of § 6-103(a) and Rule 4-271(a)(1) and unjustifiably delay a defendant’s trial beyond 180-days. This is not such a case on the record as it exists presently.” Maryland v. Huntley, ___ Md. ___ (Nov. 12, 2009).
On the other hand, Huntley is not as harmful to criminal defendants’ rights as one might first think. In its final footnote, Huntley says: “15 We express no opinion as to whether the nol pros and subsequent re-indictment of Huntley violated his constitutional speedy trial rights. That issue was not presented to us in this case. Section 6-103(a) and Rule 4-271(a)(1) were not intended to codify the constitutional right to a speedy trial. Instead, that statute and rule merely act as a prophylactic remedy for unjustifiable trial delay by the trial court or the State.” Huntley (emphasis added).