I recently filed a “Rule 600 motion” for a client charged with forgery and related offenses in Berks County, PA. Rule 600 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure addresses the Right that Individuals have to a Speedy Trial. Generally, the Commonwealth has 6 months to bring an incarcerated Defendant to trial and 12 months for a Defendant out on Bail. Of course, under certain circumstances the accrual of this time is placed on hold or waived if the Defendant or his attarney is a cause of the delay.
In this particular case my client had been charged with Forgery over 10 years ago. Shortly after being charged he moved out of state and a warrant was issued after he failed to appear at a preliminary hearing. Over the course of the next 10 years he was stopped by police in his new state on at least 3 occassions for various traffic violations. On each occassion he was held by local police and the Pennsylvania authorities were contacted to ascertain the status of the warrant. On each occassion they declined to extradite. In my motion I cited this fact in arguing that Pennsylvania authorities lacked Due Diligence as required by Rule 600.
In the end, the Assistant District attarney agreed that the law was on our side. The case was withdrawn and my client free to go.