Interviewer: For a criminal defense case, how long can they take to resolve?
Some Courts Act More Quickly Than Others
David: It varies court to court. There are some courts that are quicker than others. With respect to misdemeanors generally speaking I get hired to represent someone on a misdemeanor that goes to district court.
DWI Cases That Are Negotiated Can Be Resolved in 4 to 5 Weeks
Probably the whole case would probably be over within six to eight weeks. A DWI that gets negotiated can be resolved maybe in four or five weeks. If it goes to trial, it’s likely to take a longer time frame before it actually gets tried due to the court calendar.
The district courts have rules that say that if the trial is going to last longer than half an hour you have to notify the courts. This is because that amount of time is considered to be a long trial and those tend to be scheduled later in the calendar.
A Case Heard in Superior Court Could Take 7 to 8 Months to Resolve
In superior court, it is substantially different. In superior court a person arrested in January, their probable cause hearing would happen maybe in three or four weeks. The indictment might happen six or eight weeks after the arraignment.
The superior court may be 10 or 12 weeks. The trial itself begins three or four months thereafter. With no continuances, it’s seven or eight months old by the time it gets resolved.