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When does the speedy trial clock start running anew?

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).

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