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State of Idaho v. Adam Richard Crockett

June 10, 2011

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ADAM RICHARD CROCKETT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Michael R. McLaughlin, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2011 Opinion No. 35

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Order denying motion to dismiss felony DUI charge, affirmed.

Adam Richard Crockett appeals from the district court's denial of his motion to dismiss a charge of driving under the influence made on grounds that his rights to a speedy trial and due process had been violated.

I. BACKGROUND

On August 1, 2008, Crockett was arrested for driving under the influence. The State charged the case as a felony on the premise that Crockett had been convicted twice of DUI within the preceding ten years. See Idaho Code §§ 18-8004, 18-8005(5). At the preliminary hearing, however, it was learned that Crockett had not yet been convicted of the second of the two predicate DUI offenses as that charge was still pending. Consequently, on August 15, 2008, the State dismissed the felony charge for the August 1, 2008, incident rather than proceeding with a misdemeanor DUI charge. On January 8, 2009, Crockett pleaded guilty to the second predicate DUI offense, and on January 23, 2009, the State refiled the felony DUI charge for the August 1, 2008, incident, initiating the case that is now before us. Crockett was rearrested on February 3, 2009, and released on his own recognizance the next day. A trial was scheduled for August 3, 2009.

On July 17, 2009, Crockett moved to dismiss this charge, contending that his constitutional rights to a speedy trial and to due process had been violated. The district court denied the motion. Thereafter, Crockett pleaded guilty, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his dismissal motion. This appeal followed.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Speedy Trial

Crockett first argues that the delay in filing this case violated his rights to a speedy trial under the state and federal constitutions. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to criminal defendants the right to a speedy trial, a guarantee that is made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. In addition, Article 1, Section 13, of the Idaho Constitution guarantees the accused in a criminal case the right to a speedy trial. In Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), the United States Supreme Court adopted a four-part balancing test to determine whether a defendant's Sixth Amendment speedy trial right has been infringed. The Idaho Supreme Court has adopted that same test for application of the corresponding right under the Idaho Constitution. State v. Young, 136 Idaho 113, 117, 29 P.3d 949, 953 (2001); State v. Lindsay, 96 Idaho 474, 475-76, 531 P.2d 236, 237-38 (1975). The four factors to be balanced are: (1) the length of the delay, (2) the reason for the delay, (3) the assertion of accused's right to a speedy trial, and (4) the prejudice to the accused occasioned by the delay. Barker, 407 U.S. at 530; State v. Davis, 141 Idaho 828, 836, 118 P.3d 160, 168 (Ct. App. 2005).

The length of delay serves a dual role in the analysis of the right to a speedy trial. First, it is a triggering mechanism, for until there is some delay that is presumptively prejudicial, it is unnecessary to inquire into the other three factors. Barker, 407 U.S. at 530; Young, 136 Idaho at 117, 29 P.3d at 953. Second, it is one of the factors to be considered once the balancing process is triggered. Id. Under the Sixth Amendment, the period of delay is measured from the date there is "a formal indictment or information or else the actual restraints imposed by arrest and holding to answer a criminal charge." United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307, 320 (1971). Similarly, under the Idaho Constitution the period of delay is measured from the date formal charges are filed or the defendant is arrested, whichever occurs first. Young, 136 Idaho at 117, 29 P.3d at 953.

Crockett's assertion of a speedy trial violation is based largely on delay that occurred before he was arrested or charged in the current case; i.e., the period between his initial arrest in August 2008 and the filing of the present charge on January 23, 2009. This pre-charge period is not relevant, however, to speedy trial analysis because the constitutional right of the accused to a speedy trial has no application beyond the confines of a formal criminal prosecution. Doggett v. United States, 505 U.S. 647, 655 (1992); Davis, 141 Idaho at 836, 118 P.3d at 168. That is, the speedy trial guarantee of the Sixth Amendment does not apply to the period before a defendant is arrested, indicted, or otherwise officially accused. United States v. MacDonald, 456 U.S. 1, 6 (1982); Marion, 404 U.S. at 313. In MacDonald, the United States Supreme Court considered a circumstance like this one where a charge had been filed, dismissed, and refiled and the defendant was not incarcerated in the interim. The Court said:

Once charges are dismissed, the speedy trial guarantee is no longer applicable. At that point, the formerly accused is, at most, in the same position as any other subject of a criminal investigation. Certainly, the knowledge of an ongoing criminal investigation will cause stress, discomfort, and perhaps a certain disruption in ...


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