When a citizen is arrested in the United States for a criminal offense, they are afforded a number of rights under the United States Constitution. One of these rights is known as the right to a speedy trial, under the Sixth Amendment, which prevents defendants from being held indefinitely in jail based on accusations. Although many may not be aware of the fact, this right is also extended when it comes to illegal immigrants who are detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. So, how long can someone wait in jail before they set a court date?
For a U.S. citizen who is arrested on a criminal charge, the amount of time they will wait in jail before receiving a court date will vary widely from case to case. The state that the crime was committed within may also have its own laws in regards to how long a person can be held in jail without a court date. As a general guide, those who are charged with a misdemeanor offense will be held for less time without a court date than someone with a felony charge. In most cases, arrested individuals can expect a wait of around 5-30 days for a misdemeanor and up to 90 for a felony. If this time has been exhausted and a trial date has not been set, many states will offer bail or reduce the current bail bond amount to remain compliant with the law without releasing the arrested individual.
When it comes to the Sixth Amendment right for illegal immigrants who are detained by ICE, the rules become less clear. This is because some immigrants are not permitted to have a trial if they are deported through the expedited removal process. Although the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 allows the process to occur for any undocumented immigrant who has resided in the country for less than two years, it is generally reserved for those who have been in the U.S. illegally for less than two weeks. In these situations, no court date will be set and the immigrant will remain in an ICE facility until arrangements are made to return them to their country of origin. Another dilemma faced in immigration courts when it comes to the right to a speedy trial is the requirement of mandatory detainment for some immigrants who are not eligible for release through a bail bond. Mandatory detainment is reserved for immigrants who pose a risk to national security or the community and they will be held in an ICE facility until their case resolves in court– even if receiving a court date takes several months. Due to a backlog in cases, most others will take several months or years to resolve although a court date for a bond hearing will usually take place within the first two weeks after an arrest is made.
Want to learn more about matters like, how long can someone wait in jail before they set a court date when it comes to immigration? Contact US Immigration Bonds today to learn how we can help.