Current through 2021-2022 Regular Session Chapters 1-270, 272-305, 307
Section 17-7-171 - Time for demand for speedy trial in capital cases; discharge and acquittal where no trial held before end of two court terms of demand; counting of terms in cases in which death penalty is sought; special pleas of incompetency(a) Any person accused of a capital offense may enter a demand for speedy trial at the term of court at which the indictment is found or at the next succeeding regular term thereafter; or, by special permission of the court, the defendant may at any subsequent term thereafter demand a speedy trial. The demand for speedy trial shall be filed with the clerk of court and served upon the prosecutor and upon the judge to whom the case is assigned or, if the case is not assigned, upon the chief judge of the court in which the case is pending. A demand for trial filed pursuant to this Code section shall be filed as a separate, distinct, and individual document and shall not be a part of any other pleading or document. Such demand shall clearly be titled "Demand for Speedy Trial"; reference this Code section within the pleading; and identify the indictment number or accusation number for which such demand is being made. The demand for speedy trial shall be binding only in the court in which such demand is filed, except where the case is transferred from one court to another without a request from the defendant.(b) If more than two regular terms of court are convened and adjourned after the term at which the demand for speedy trial is filed and the defendant is not given a trial, then the defendant shall be absolutely discharged and acquitted of the offense charged in the indictment, provided that at both terms there were juries impaneled and qualified to try the defendant and provided, further, that the defendant was present in court announcing ready for trial and requesting a trial on the indictment.(c) In cases involving a capital offense for which the death penalty is sought, if a demand for speedy trial is entered, the counting of terms under subsection (b) of this Code section shall not begin until the convening of the first term following the completion of pretrial review proceedings in the Supreme Court under Code Section 17-10-35.1.(d) If a defendant files a special plea of incompetency to stand trial pursuant to Code Section 17-7-130 or if the court, pursuant to Code Section 17-7-129, conducts a trial on the competency of the defendant, the period of time during which such matter is pending shall not be included in the computation of determining whether a demand for speedy trial has been satisfied.Amended by 2011 Ga. Laws 91,§ 4, eff. 7/1/2011.Amended by 2006 Ga. Laws 879,§ 2, eff. 7/1/2006.