What is a Rule 600 motion and how can it help your case? The title refers to Pennsylvania Criminal Procedure Rule 600 which guarantees a speedy trial to criminal defendants. Rule 600 states that a trial must commence within 365 days of one of the following actions:

1 – the date that a written complaint is filed against a defendant
2 – the date that a case is transferred from the juvenile division to the trial or criminal division
3 – the date on which a defendant’s participation in the ARD program is terminated
4 – when a trial court has ordered a new trial and no appeal has been filed, the date on which the
trial court’s order is filed
5 – when an appellate court has remanded a case for a new trial, the date on which written notice
was given to the parties that the record was remanded.

Rule 600 also has provisions to address pretrial incarceration in each of the above circumstances. The most notable time limit for pretrial incarceration is 180 days from the date that a written complaint is filed.

What is the remedy for a Rule 600 violation? If a case has not been brought to trial within 365 days then the remedy is dismissal of the charges. If a case has not been brought to trial within 180 days and the defendant is incarcerated then he may file a motion requesting that nominal bail be set. A hearing will be held on that motion.

However, determining if there has been a Rule 600 violation is rarely a straightforward matter. The only time that counts in the Rule 600 calculation is that which is caused by the Commonwealth when the Commonwealth has failed to exercise due diligence in bringing the case to trial. Any delay caused by the defendant or the court does not count towards the time limit. This includes continuances that are requested by the defendant and continuances because of the court’s schedule.

Under what circumstances has the Commonwealth failed to exercise due diligence? In general, your case will need to be analyzed by a knowledgeable criminal law attorney to determine whether there is a legitimate question of due diligence.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Berks County and feel that you may have a Rule 600 issue, contact our Reading, PA attorneys today at 610-273-5128 or [email protected] to schedule a consultation.