There are many instances when a person is arrested and charged with an offense years after a crime allegedly occurred. Sometimes these persons serve time in jail or prison between the date of an alleged offense and the date that they are charged with that alleged offense. This is troubling, especially in instances where the person would have been sentenced concurrently (serving the sentences at the same time) rather than consecutively (having the sentences stacked one after the other).
As a general rule, a Defendant does not have a speedy trial right to be arrested, and that speedy trial rights attach once the charge is filed against the Defendant. The prosecution is prevented from going forward with a case if it is barred by the statute of limitations.
What can a Defendant pursue who falls into this gap in which a prosecution is delayed, but a prosecution is still lawful and actually pursued? Generally, a Defendant will have to demonstrate to the court that he or she experienced actual and substantial prejudice results from the delay in his or her arrest on the charge.