How do you postpone a criminal trial to another date? 42 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I was inquiring if I can postpone my trial date, I have a conflict and would like to know if there is a possibility?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I would recommend retaining an attorney for this matter. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Generally speaking, trial dates may be adjourned if the court believes there is "good cause." Severe illness and hospitalization, for example, is "good cause." The court will look at whether this a first-time request, the nature of the circumstances, and other factors. Generally, requests for adjournments need to be presented in the form of a written motion with a hearing. Rarely, judges will grant adjournments at the last minute; however, they do not like to do that. Preferably, if there is a possible conflict in the future, notify the court immediately before subpoenas are issued, juries are brought in, etc. Ultimately, it's a matter of judicial discretion.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/18/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You should contact the court as soon as possible and ask for an adjournment to another date.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/7/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The answer may depend on a number of things including the nature of the case, whether prior continuances have occurred, and court availability. If the other attorney will not agree, you must file a motion seeking a continuance and citing a compelling reason for it.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 9/27/2011
Burdon and Merlitti
Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
As a general rule, you would need a very good reason to postpone a criminal trial (i.e. death in the family, unavoidable surgery, etc.). Most judges will not consider things like vacations, doctors' appointments, or so forth to be excuse to move a trial. You should speak to your attorney about the facts of your case and determine which event the conflict or your trial needs to be moved.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/26/2011
Hess & Schubert
Hess & Schubert | Ted Hess
1. You postpone a criminal trial by asking for a continuance, either orally or in writing. 2. If you can get the concurrence of the DA, it is much easier to continue a case. 3. If an actual trial date has been set, you can expect to encounter reluctance to continue the case from the trial judge. 4. Judges typically have blocks of time set aside for trials. Generally, there are trials already schedule before and after your trial. Judges know that if you trial is continued it will have to set out down the road. 5. The earlier you ask for a continuance, the better.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/26/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    You can request a new trial date, but it is not a gurantee that the request will be granted. Having no previous continuances and a solid reason for the request will help, but many times judges will not change a trial date barring something that creates an inability to conduct the trial fairly.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Iyer Law Office
    Iyer Law Office | V. Iyer
    The answer is Yes and No to postponing a criminal trial. It depends on several factors; such as consent of or objection by the Prosecutor, Attitude of the Judge, the County where your case is set, and whether it is a jury or a Judge trial. Finally, it also depends on whether you have given sufficient advance notice to the Court and Prosecutor, in writing, for your request to postpone the criminal trial. Jury trials are a little more difficult to postpone unless you have very good reasons to seek a postponement of the jury trial. Just because you have a conflict may not be sufficiently good reason for the postponement for the trial date would have been set based on your availability. Unless, the conflict is unexpected and unanticipated and arose after the trial date setting and that by not attending to this conflicted matter could cause you to suffer extreme hardship and a significant loss you may not get the postponement. Generally, you do not have a constitutional or a statutory right to get postponements of any court dates, including trial dates. The exception is when by denying your postponement request it would impinge or defeat or frustrate your constitutional or statutory rights to a fair trial or otherwise denies or affects your rights to due process, both substantive or procedural. The grant or denial of your request to postpone any court or trial date is within the sound discretion of the Judge presiding over your matter. Also you will have to agree to waive speedy trial. (A waiver of speedy trial does not permanently waive your speedy trial rights but rather resets the speedy trial clock to another 6 months for Federal and State Court Criminal Trials and 90 days for Municipal or City Court criminal Trials). Obtaining the consent of the Prosecutor will help in influencing the Judge to grant your postponement request. Speedy Trial does not apply to other court proceeding except to criminal trials and criminal proceedings. Hiring a criminal lawyer could be helpful in getting a postponement of your criminal trial but may not always help in non criminal trials. A good, well reputed and experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to get a postponement of your trial. Trust the above answers your question.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Keyser Law Firm
    Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
    It is possible but not guaranteed. You must show cause for the continuance. Ask your attorney to make an inquiry with the court. The sooner you make the request, the better.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    You can request a continuous to a future date. However, wither it is granted depend on how close the trial is, if you have had other countenances, how long ago the case was filed, what the charges are and the reason you need a continuous.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Mitch Foster Law
    Mitch Foster Law | Mitchell T. Foster
    Judges frown open postponing criminal trials. They will in some cases grant a postponement if there is good cause and the trial is not coming up too soon. Your attorney can advise you on the likelihood of getting your trial postponed. If you don't have an attorney, you should hire one right away.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You file a motion to advance the case to an earlier date, and then you appear before the judge and request a postponement to a more convenient date. Do not wait until the last moment to do this, the sooner you appear, the better the chance the court will grant your continuance. you should have e good reason for the postponement. I would advise having counsel with you, especially if you are facing a criminal charge, as jail time is a possible, ultimate sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    There may be.you need to file a Motion for Continuance.The Judge's Clerk should have it.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    It is within the discretion of the court to adjourn a trial date. You would ask the court and provide the court with the reasons for the adjournment. Most times, it is difficult to get an adjournment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    If you have a privately retained attorney and your matter is not a felony (ie. it is a misdemeanor) and you were not specifically ordered to be there by the Judge, your attorney can appear at Court without you needing to be there. If you have a Court hearing date set, either you or your privately retained attorney (per the limitations listed above) needs to be at the court date or it is likely the Judge will issue a Bench Warrant for failure to appear.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    It's definitely a possibility, but not if you wait until the last minute. You need to speak with your lawyer, and he or she can get a motion to continue on file.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Your attorney can file a motion under Penal Code section 1050.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Well ask your attorney. Trials can be postponed for various reasons. Some like illness of the defendant or unavailability of a witness are eay but others are on a case by case basis. It depends on why you want it postponed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You are not the one to ask for an adjournment. Your attorney, who is probably a public defender, can ask the judge for an adjournment for a number of reasons, none of which are that you have another engagement.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    There are many ways to postpone a criminal trial. 1) Appear in court on the date in question and request an adjournment 2) Contact the prosecutor in advance and request that the matter be placed over for another date 3) Send a letter to the court to request an adjournment.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    There is a motion that you can file pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure 1050. This motion must be in writing and filed at least two court days before the hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, but a 1050 motion may have to be filed. You should contact a lawyer to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    You ask the Judge for a continuance. Typically you file a written motion and set it for a hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    If it is a misdemeanor and you have an attorney, the attorney can do this without your being present. If it's a felony, then you will still need to show up on the date set but the date may be continued if the prosecutor and/or the court agrees. Obviously, there needs to be a valid reason for the continuance. Notice needs to be given to the court and DA as soon as possible that you are going to request a continuance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    If a defendant has a conflict, typically judge is not interested. conversely, if the attorney has a conflict the case will be continued.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    That probably depends on the nature of the conflict. Unless you are going into the hospital for necessary surgery, probably not. Especially if the conflict is your vacation or daughter's birthday, or anything personal that is not life threatening. Talk to your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey | Stephen P. Dempsey
    Your attorney can do it. Otherwise call the judge's office and request an adjournment. It shouldn't be a problem if 1st time but they will request a letter from you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You have to get your case on calendar ASAP and request this from the judge . Do not delay!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You should contact state and get there assent, then file a motion to continue. If you have a lawyer just talk to him and they will take care of it.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    It depends on the nature of your conflict but there is no guarantee a judge will postpone it. Typically a judge gives the least deference to defendants who are inconvenienced by their trial date.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    You can file a motion with the court to request a continuance. An experienced criminal attorney will assist in obtaining the best outcome possible.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Have your lawyer, or you should file for a continuance. The court will require you to waive your right to speedy trial and you will have to have a good reason to continue the trial. You will probably only get one continuance though.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Peter Duarte, Attorney at Law
    Peter Duarte, Attorney at Law | Peter Duarte
    you need to file a motion to continue the trial and the court needs to find "good cause" i.e. witness unavailability .
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Speak with the DA ho is prosecuting the case an see if he/she will assent to a continuance. If not you will have to file a motion and argue your position to the judge. Go in before the scheduled date, ask that your case be advanced, and make a motion before the judge that you change the date and explain your reasons.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    The best way is to first ask the prosecutor is they will stipulate to an adjournment. Usually if it's the first such request, they are usually willing to do so, especially if the conflict is legitimate. If it is not a first request or if the prosecutor does not agree, you will have to file a motion with the judge asking for an adjournment and explain the reasons why it is "good cause." Prepare an order for the judge to sign or hire an attorney to help you do one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You have to file a motion for continuance with the court and the judge decides if there is good cause to continue.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You must ask the Judge for permission to continue the case, also you must get input from the prosecutor as to whether they will agree to the continuance. If the prosecutor objects, you must set the matter for a hearing before the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Trial dates are difficult to reset but it is possible. It is best to contact the prosecutor and get permission first and then call the clerk of court. If you are represented have your attorney do this
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes but best done with a lawyer and a very good excuse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2013
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Your attoney should file a motion to continue the trial date. If it is a misdemeanor, an attorney can appear on your behalf for arraignment and pretrial, just not for trial. If you do not have an attorney yet, you should contact someone to cover you for your court date. If the matter is a felony, did you sign a waiver of personal appearance so your attorney can appear for you?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    The procedure is for your attorney to move the court for a continuance prior to the trial date, hopefully with the agreement of the prosecutor. Courts will generally grant at least one continuance for good cause.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/26/2011
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