Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scott County Speedy Trial Case

State v. Grice, no. 08-0103 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2009)

Grice was charged with sexual abuse and distributing cocaine to a minor. Two days before his speedy trial deadline was up, the state moved to dismiss the information "in furtherance of justice", which was granted by the court.

The state filed a second trial information which contained the original charges as well as two additional counts of sexual abuse and a count of first degree kidnaping.

Grice moved to dismiss the information arguing that there were insufficient grounds to dismiss the original information and defeat his right to a speedy trial. He was found guilty of three counts of sexual abuse and distributing cocaine to a minor and dispatched to a fine state health resort for his delectation.

The court held that if the dismissal is in the furtherance of justice, felonies and aggravated misdemeanors can be refiled, but if the charges are dismissed to avoid a speedy trial deadline they cannot be refiled.

The court found that the state's proffered reasons for dismissing the first trial information were faulty, except for the fact that a codefendant had pled guilty and agreed to testify against Grice, which could have facilitated plea bargaining. The trial court found that this was a sufficiently valid reason to reject Grice's motion to dismiss and thus support the state's refiling.

The point is, that ninety days goes by fast. I got caught by it one time. Mark your calendars.


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