270 Day Rule Law and Legal Definition

The 270-day rule is a rule that grants an accused person a statutory right to speedy trial. The rule states that all offenses for which indictments are presented to the court must be tried no later than 270 days after the accused has been arraigned. However, the trial may go beyond the 270 day period if good cause is shown, and a continuance is duly granted by the court. This rule is applicable only in some jurisdictions.

For constitutional purposes, the right to a speedy trial attaches and time begins to run with arrest. The statutory right to a speedy trial set forth in Miss. Code Ann. § 99-17-1 attaches with arraignment. Calculation of statutory time requires exclusion of the date of arraignment and inclusion of the date of trial and weekends, unless the last day of the 270-day period falls on Sunday. [Miss. Const. Ann. Art. 3, § 26]. The statutory 270-day rule is satisfied once the defendant is brought to trial, even if that trial results in a mistrial. [Handley v. State, 574 So. 2d 671 (Miss. 1990)].

Where the accused is not tried within 270 days of his arraignment, the state has the burden of establishing good cause for the delay since the accused is under no duty to bring himself to trial. [Winder v. State, 640 So. 2d 893 (Miss. 1994)].

The following is an example of a state statute (Mississippi) on the 270 day rule:

Miss. Code Ann. § 99-17-1. Indictments to be tried within 270 days of arraignment

Unless good cause be shown, and a continuance duly granted by the court, all offenses for which indictments are presented to the court shall be tried no later than two hundred seventy (270) days after the accused has been arraigned.