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Georgia man facing drug charges did not get speedy trial

  1. People who watched the news in the 1980s may remember the beginning of the "war on drugs." Although the catchphrase has more or less vanished, the war never ended. Thousands of people are already in jail for relatively minor drug offenses and many more face the same in current investigations.

One new push by attorneys general and district attorneys has been charges for so-called "drug-assisted homicide." This sort of charge may result if drugs that were sold or supplied by a suspect resulted in a fatal overdose. This is far more likely if drugs were contaminated with a different substance or sold under false pretenses.

A man from Georgia is charged with distributing an opiate resulting in death as well as other federal charges related to an alleged drug conspiracy. Regardless of evidentiary challenges to these charges, the defendant's attorney has claimed the case is violating a federal right to have a quick hearing after charges are filed.

The 34-year-old suspect from Cartersville has been in a federal prison in West Virginia for more than a year without a trial date set. His attorney has claimed this is a violation of the Speedy Trial Act of 1964, which guarantees a trial within a reasonable amount of time.

This is one of several possible ways to get charges dismissed or to get a verdict of not guilty in a jury trial after prosecutors have filed drug charges against someone. Anyone facing drug charges has the right to legal representation, and an attorney is a good idea when facing time spent in a courtroom.

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