Both the defendant and the State have the right to a speedy trial, as outlined in Article 701 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. A defendant’s motion for a speedy trial must be accompanied by an affidavit from the defendant’s counsel certifying that the defendant and counsel are prepared to proceed to trial. If the request is deemed valid by the court, the defendant’s trial must commence thusly:
Within 30 days if the defendant is continued in custody for a misdemeanor charge;
Within 60 days if the defendant is not continued in custody for a misdemeanor charge;
Within 120 days if the defendant is continued in custody for a felony charge;
Within 180 days if the defendant is not continued in custody for a felony charge.
Failure to commence trial within the time periods provided shall result in the release of the defendant without bail or in the discharge of the bail obligation if, after a contradictory hearing, just cause for the delay is not shown. “Just cause,” as used in this article, shall include any grounds beyond the control of the State or the court.
A speedy trial motion filed by the defendant but not verified by the affidavit of his counsel shall be set for a contradictory hearing within 30 days.