Can Charges Against a Defendant Be Dismissed If the State Violates His Right to Speedy Trial ?

In People v. Belcher, 186 Ill. App. 3d 202, 542 N.E.2d 419, 134 Ill. Dec. 240 (1989), the defendant was charged on December 27, 1985, by criminal complaint with having committed at least one felony. (Although the Belcher decision does not specify any of the crimes with which the defendant was charged, we take judicial notice of this court's records, which indicate that at least one of the crimes that the defendant was charged with was likely a felony. See People v. Chisum, 30 Ill. App. 3d 546, 548, 333 N.E.2d 546 (1975).) A warrant for the defendant's arrest was also issued on December 27, 1985. The defendant was not arrested until April 5, 1988, however. On May 18, 1988, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss all charges, alleging that between June 3, 1986, and March 3, 1988, he was in custody serving a four-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections. the defendant argued that the delay in arresting him was unnecessary, unjustified, and not his fault. The defendant therefore argued that he was denied his right to a speedy trial. Belcher, 186 Ill. App. 3d at 203. Following a hearing, the trial court dismissed the charges against the defendant. Belcher, 186 Ill. App. 3d at 204. On appeal, this court affirmed as we determined that the State had violated the defendant's right to a speedy trial. Belcher, 186 Ill. App. 3d at 208.