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A Serna motion is a defense tool, which would allow a defendant to have misdemeanor charges filed against him be dismissed. Under the United States Constitution a defendant has a 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial. This right is triggered at the time charges have been brought against a defendant.

The Court in Serna stated: “a delay between the filing of a misdemeanor complaint and the arrest and prosecution of a defendant which exceeds one year is unreasonable and presumptively prejudicial.” 

A delay in prosecution can occur in one of several ways. For example, a delay can occur when the prosecution fails to file the charges against the defendant in a timely manner, or when an arrest warrant is not timely executed on the defendant.

Lets assume it is January of 2012 and you have relocated from an old apartment you used to live in into a new one, and the prosecutor decides to file battery charges against you for a bar brawl under California’s Penal Code 242 after the victim decides to press charges against you. The prosecutor then sends the complaint to you by mail, which requests you to go to court for arraignment on the charges, however since you were not living at the old apartment you never received the notice of these charges. Three years later you get pulled over for a speeding ticket and the officer arrests you based on the battery charges and the outstanding warrant for your arrest.

Since three years has elapsed from the time when charges were initially filed against you and your arrest, a Serna motion could potentially have the charges filed against you three years earlier dismissed.

Having an experienced San Diego Criminal Lawyer by your side who is familiar with the court system can help you tremendously in making sure the right arguments are made to the judge and the prosecutors to have the case(s) brought against you dismissed.

San Diego attorney Omid Rejali would make sure your rights are protected. If you are facing criminal charges don’t let the government trample the Constitutional rights afforded to you. Call us for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation to make sure your rights are protected.

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