Art. 701.  Right to a speedy trial

Terms Used In Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 701

  • affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • arraignment: A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Court: means a court with criminal jurisdiction or its judge. See Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 931
  • defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • district attorney: includes a municipal prosecuting officer; the term "sheriff" includes a city or municipal police chief or a city marshall; and other official titles include their counterparts in municipal and parochial governments. See Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 7
  • Felony: means an offense that may be punished by death or by imprisonment at hard labor. See Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 933
  • indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • Misdemeanor: means any offense other than a felony, and includes the violation of an ordinance providing a penal sanction. See Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 933
  • obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

A.  The state and the defendant have the right to a speedy trial.

B.  The time period for filing a bill of information or indictment after arrest shall be as follows:

(1)(a)  When the defendant is continued in custody subsequent to an arrest, an indictment or information shall be filed within forty-five days of the arrest if the defendant is being held for a misdemeanor and within sixty days of the arrest if the defendant is being held for a felony.

(b)  When the defendant is continued in custody subsequent to an arrest, an indictment shall be filed within one hundred twenty days of the arrest if the defendant is being held for a felony for which the punishment may be death or life imprisonment.

(2)  When the defendant is not continued in custody subsequent to arrest, an indictment or information shall be filed within ninety days of the arrest if the defendant is booked with a misdemeanor and one hundred fifty days of the arrest if the defendant is booked with a felony.

Failure to institute prosecution as provided in Subparagraph (1) shall result in release of the defendant if, after contradictory hearing with the district attorney, just cause for the failure is not shown.  If just cause is shown, the court shall reconsider bail for the defendant.  Failure to institute prosecution as provided in Subparagraph (2) shall result in the release of the bail obligation if, after contradictory hearing with the district attorney, just cause for the delay is not shown.

C.  Upon filing of a bill of information or indictment, the district attorney shall set the matter for arraignment within thirty days unless just cause for a longer delay is shown.

D.(1)  A motion by the defendant for a speedy trial, in order to be valid, must be accompanied by an affidavit by defendant’s counsel certifying that the defendant and his counsel are prepared to proceed to trial within the delays set forth in this Article.  After the filing of a motion for a speedy trial by the defendant and his counsel the time period for commencement of trial shall be as follows:

(a)  The trial of a defendant charged with a felony shall commence within one hundred twenty days if he is continued in custody and within one hundred eighty days if he is not continued in custody.

(b)  The trial of a defendant charged with a misdemeanor shall commence within thirty days if he is continued in custody and within sixty days if he is not continued in custody.

(2)  Failure to commence trial within the time periods provided above shall result in the release of the defendant without bail or in the discharge of the bail obligation, if after contradictory hearing with the district attorney, just cause for the delay is not shown.

E.  “Just cause” as used in this Article shall include any grounds beyond the control of the State or the Court.

F.  A motion for a speedy trial filed by the defendant, but not verified by the affidavit of his counsel, shall be set for contradictory hearing within thirty days.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 181, §1; Acts 1982, No. 462, §1; Acts 1993, No. 682, §1; Acts 2007, No. 295, §1.