IN NC, when someone pleads not guilty, it is not unusual for a jury trial to be 1- 1/2 to 2 years away; even with NO defense delays. Everyone should attend series of court sessions, just to see how backed up they are. I have personally seen, 20 -30 cases get continued , where the defendant's attorney answered that they were ready for trial. After this, maybe 2-3 cases were heard the rest of the day. We have a right to a speedy trial, but no one has ever ruled just how long "speedy" is. I have even witnessed an attorney make a motion for a "speedy trial" in open court, after his client had been waiting for almost 2 years. The way the system is set up, it is much faster and simpler to book someone, than it is to seat a jury and try them. If cases weren't dropped, combined, and/or pled out; the backlog would double every couple of years, and a lot of defendants, officers, and witnesses would die before ever going to trial .