Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 is the part of the United States Bill of Rights
United States Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

 which sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions. The Supreme Court has applied the protections of this amendment to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Criminal defendants have the right to a speedy trial. In Barker v. Wingo
Barker v. Wingo
Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 , was a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that determinations of whether or not the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial for defendants in criminal cases has been denied must be made on a case-by-case basis.One factor recognized by the Court was the...

, , the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 laid down a four-part case-by-case balancing test
Balancing test
A balancing test is any judicial test in which the jurists weigh the importance of multiple factors in a legal case. Proponents of such tests argue that they allow a deeper consideration of complex issues than a bright line rule can allow...

 for determining whether the defendant's speedy trial right has been violated in the case.