Calendar Calls and Appearances

After arraignment in Supreme Court, the case is sent to a “calendar part,” a judge who is responsible for overseeing the case in its early phases. The case will remain in the calendar part often for many months awaiting trial. The “speedy trial” law requires that the district attorney be ready for trial within six months of indictment, but a certain amount of time is excluded from this calculation. As a result it is not uncommon for a criminal case to take up to a year before trial.

If you are not incarcerated awaiting trial, you will be required to come to court for every appearance unless you have the court’s permission to be absent. If you fail to appear for a calendar, the court may revoke your bail, issue a bench warrant for your arrest, and you will be incarcerated thereafter.

Unless told otherwise, you must appear in court at 9:30 AM and expect to be there for the better part of the day. Your lawyer may or may not be there waiting with you, but he will certainly be there when the case is called.

While a case can take a while before the district attorney announces he is ready for trial, even he takes longer than six months, not counting excludable time, the defendant can make a “30.30” or speedy trial motion which, if successful, results in the dismissal of the case.

The prosecutor must also bring your case to trial within a certain period of time. Generally, in a non-homicide case (which are not subject to the speedy trial statute), the prosecutor must be ready to try your case within six months of the filing of the felony complaint in Criminal Court, or in the case of a misdemeanor, within ninety days of the filing of the misdemeanor complaint in Criminal Court. If the prosecutor is not ready to try your case within the six-month period, and the time for which you were responsible does not reduce the time below six months if you are charged with a felony, or ninety days if you are charged with a misdemeanor, the judge, upon your motion, must dismiss your case. You may also be entitled to be released from jail if the prosecutor is not ready to try your case within certain specified periods of time, although the charges against you would not be dismissed. If you were responsible for delays in bringing your case to trial, those periods are not included in the six months, ninety days, or other periods relating to release.


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