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90 day release law

Every defendant who is stuck in county jail wants the same thing- out. Inevitably the defendant, or a friend or family member asks- “Isn’t there some 90 day release law when a defendant is not indicted?”
Actually there is, and it’s 17.151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. I also call it the “speedy indictment law” because filing a 17.151 motion will often get your client indicted at the next grand jury.

In Kaufman county it’s typical to see a defendant indicted right around the 90 day mark. ADAs are keenly aware of this deadline and loathe to have defendants use their get out of jail free card on serious charges.

Still, if the State is not “ready for trial” and you are stuck in the pokey for 15, 30 or 90 days, your lawyer can file a motion for your release under 17.151.

Art. 17.151. RELEASE BECAUSE OF DELAY.
Sec. 1. A defendant who is detained in jail pending trial of an accusation against him
must be released either on personal bond or by reducing the amount
of bail required, if the state is not ready for trial of the
criminal action for which he is being detained within:
(1) 90 days from the commencement of his detention if he is
accused of a felony;
(2) 30 days from the commencement of his detention if he is
accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment
in jail for more than 180 days;
(3) 15 days from the commencement of his detention if he is
accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment
for 180 days or less; or
(4) five days from the commencement of his detention if he
is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine only.
Sec. 2. The provisions of this article do not apply to a
defendant who is:
(1) serving a sentence of imprisonment for another offense
while the defendant is serving that sentence;
(2) being detained pending trial of another accusation
against the defendant as to which the applicable period has not yet
elapsed;
(3) incompetent to stand trial, during the period of the
defendant’s incompetence; or
(4) being detained for a violation of the conditions of a
previous release related to the safety of a victim of the alleged
offense or to the safety of the community under this article.
Sec. 3. Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 110, Sec. 2.

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