The issue of the right to a speedy trial was recently raised in the unpublished Appellate Division case of State of NJ v. Castro. There, the Court wrote the following:

In Barker v. Wingo, 407 US 514, 92 S. Ct. 2182 (1972), the United State Supreme Court considered the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a speedy trial to all criminal defendants. The Court adopted a “balancing test” that required consideration of four factors: “[l]ength of delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of his right, and prejudice to the defendant.”

Our Supreme Court adopted the Barker test in State v. Szima. Our Court rules permit a defendant to seek dismissal of an indictment, and further permit the court to do so sua sponte, when there is unreasonable delay in presenting the charge to a grand jury[.]” R. 3:25-3. Determination of what is an “unreasonable” delay rests upon “balancing of interests… on an ad hoc basis” considering the idiosyncratic facts of each case.