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5 Reasons Your Criminal Trial Could be Delayed

Even though the arrest process is quick, getting to trial could take several months or years depending on the circumstances of your crime. Trial delays are just part of the criminal justice system, and can be due to the defense or prosecution or even both.

While there are hundreds of reasons a trial could be delayed, here are the five most common reasons.


A trial can be delayed if you need to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. If you are found mentally unfit, then your trial may be delayed until you are mentally fit to go through trial or until an agreement is met.

Changing the Venue

A change of venue is when your defense attorney requests that your trial is heard in a different court district. There are various reasons for this, but the most common is that the defense wants an impartial jury and feels they will not receive that in their current location. Change of venue requests will result in significant delays –to proving a change of venue is necessary to the process of locating a better venue.

More Time

Prosecutors and defense attorneys can request more time to prepare their case. As long as the attorney shows they have a valid request, judges may honor their request for more time. Judges can also deny these requests.

For example, see the George Zimmerman case. His attorneys requested a six-month delay to prepare and the judge denied it.

Conflicts with Schedule

An attorney may have a conflict with another case and the judge can grant an extension so that both trials do not overlap. Personal conflicts may also result in a delay, such as the birth of an attorney’s child or even the prosecutor’s request due to personal schedule conflicts.


Emergencies, such as medical or family issues, can delay a trial. But, because you have the right to a speedy trial, you will need to waive that right for an emergency to delay your case.

You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

An experienced attorney can ensure delays are only necessary. If you feel your trial has been delayed too much and you are spending time in jail that you shouldn’t, then speak to a skilled Miami FL criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Paul J. Donnelly, P.A. can meet with you for a no obligation consultation and assess your case today.

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