Most people are aware of the devastation caused by the recent opioid epidemic. In many communities, there has been a steady increase in the number of overdose deaths each year. Many who have died could have been saved if prompt medical treatment was received. And in some of those cases, medical treatment was not received because a friend or family member, who may not have realized the seriousness of the situation, failed to call 911 out of concern that criminal charges would be filed. In response, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Drug Overdose Response Immunity Law, 35 P.S. § 780-113.7.
A person charged with a crime has a right to a speedy trial under Article I, Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. While neither Section specifies the time within which a criminal defendant must be brought to trial, the Pennsylvania Criminal Procedural Rules Committee has adopted Rule 600 (formerly Rule 1100) which sets forth when a defendant must be brought to trial in various situations.