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What is a “Speedy Trial” for an OVI or Misdemeanor in Ohio?

speedy trial ohio ovi

What is a “Speedy Trial” Right?

The Sixth Amendment provides that in “all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.”  Similar rights exist under the Ohio Constitution. 

What are the Speedy Trial Limits in Ohio?

Under the Ohio speedy trial statute (R.C. 2945.71), a trial must be held within a certain number of days after a person’s arrest or service of summons.  These time limits can be waived – and there may be strategic reasons for waiving speedy trial rights.  But in other cases, the speedy trial statute can be helpful to a defendant seeking to challenge their charges. 

Speedy Trial in Ohio for Misdemeanors

 Speedy Trial Time Limit (from arrest to trial)
MIsdemeanors in a Mayor's Court30 days
Minor Misdemeanor30 days
Fourth Degree Misdemeanor45 days
Third Degree Misdemeanor45 days
Second Degree Misdemeanor90 days
First Degree Misdemeanor90 days

Serving Jail Time in Lieu of Bail Speeds Up Speedy Trial Limits

Under the Ohio statute, if you are held in jail in lieu of bail on a pending charge, every day you spend in jail counts as three days for purposes of the speedy trial limits.  

Why Would a Defendant Waive the Right to Speedy Trial in Ohio?

In many cases, a defendant needs additional time to prepare for motions to suppress, hearings and a trial.  Also, there may be strategic reasons for obtaining continuances toward obtaining a better outcome for a defendant.