If you were recently arrested and charged with a criminal offense, and this is your first time as a defendant, you likely have a number of concerns and questions relating to the criminal prosecution process. One of the most common questions we hear is “How long will it take for my Nebraska criminal case to be done?” Because of the individual nature of a criminal prosecution only an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney can review the facts and circumstances of your unique case and provide you with an estimate for the time it may take to finish your case; however, it may be helpful to have a better understanding of the factors that typically impact how long it takes to complete the prosecution of a criminal case.
- Level of offense– though there are certainly exceptions to this rule, as a general rule it takes longer to prosecute felonies than it does to prosecute misdemeanors. Within the felony classes, higher felonies, such as murder, often take longer than lessor felonies, such as repeat drinking and driving.
- Co-defendants – if there are co-defendants involved in your case it may take longer to prosecute your case than it would if you were the only defendant.
- Court congestion – all criminal cases are at the mercy of a court calendar. If the court is congested it may be difficult to get into court to resolve issues in the case or to get a trial date.
- Plea bargain – if you decide early on in your case to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor it can speed up the disposition of your case tremendously.
- Trial – anytime a criminal case goes to trial it will take longer to conclude because the court has to make time on the calendar for the trial and both sides must prepare for the trial.
As a very general guide, you can usually expect a misdemeanor prosecution to take anywhere from two to six months to resolve unless the case is going to trial in which case it could take longer. A minor lessor felony typically takes six months to a year without a trial and a major felony can easily take over a year to resolve even if the case is not going to trial.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Nebraska and you would like some idea how long it will take to conclude your specific case, contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.