A defendant must be tried within twelve months after the "return day" (usually the arraignment date) in the court in which the case is awaiting trial. This time limit however, is often extended because the defendant agrees to continuances and for other reasons. See, Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution; Art. 11 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights; and Mass. Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 36
When a defendant is being held in custody, any continuance may not exceed thirty days. G.L. c. 276, § 35
Part 3: Pre-Trial, Trial and Verdict
- What is a pre-trial conference date?
- What occurs at a pre-trial conference?
- How soon must a trial take place?
- How are cases decided at a trial?
- What happens at trial?
- What is a verdict?
- Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
- Can I appeal from a guilty plea?
- What happens if I do not go to court?
- What should I do if I miss a probation appointment?
- How can I get help if I am a victim of a crime?
- Where can I get help if I am a criminal defendant?
- More information on the criminal process
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