Question Details: Please explain the time limits of a speedy trial and how I know when mine have been violated.
There are two 'speedy trial' rights. The most common is the 'statutory' right. For that the prosecution has six months from the date you entered your not guilty plea to bring you to trial. The not guilty plea is normally entered at the first court appearance for misdemeanor and traffic offenses, usually later in the process (at arraignment) on felonies. It does NOT start to run from the date of the alleged criminal act. There are many things that 'toll ' the speedy trial right - like if you ask for a continuance to get a lawyer - your speedy trial right is 'tolled' between the two court dates (i.e. the time period between the two court dates is not counted towards the six months). Sometimes if cases are delayed a long time by the defense the judge will ask for a 'waiver of speedy trial' in which case the six months starts all over again from that point.
There is also a constitutional right to speedy trial which is more nebulous and not really tied to a specific time period as much as it is designed to make sure trial is in a reasonable time.
The statutory speedy trial right is the easier of the two to deal with.