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ScottyMacEsq : Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
ScottyMacEsq : What is your reasons for wanting to delay the court date? Have you already received a court date?
No last year I received probation from a university officer for illegal consumption. My penalties being writing a paper a $250 and probation until the end of this academic semester which ends the first of next year.
ScottyMacEsq : What are the terms of the probation?
"You are being placed on Disciplinary Probation through the end of Fall Semester 2010. So that there will
be no misunderstanding, disciplinary probation is defined as a period of observation and review during
which you must demonstrate your willingness and ability to comply with all University regulations."
ScottyMacEsq : Thank you. Now have you been given a court date?
For the one I received yesterday, yes. September 29th 2010
ScottyMacEsq : And does it say anything about that date (that it is an arraignment, etc..)?
On the ticket it reads: "You are hereby summoned to appear in Alderman's Court #40 ON 09/29/2010 at 08:00 AM. Failure to respond to the summons will result in issuance of a warrant for your arrest and may result in fin or imprisonment or both."
ScottyMacEsq : There are some ways that you can postpone your date.
ScottyMacEsq : I - Hire an Attorney: No one knows how to continue a case like a professional. If you hire an attorney for your case whether criminal or civil, it's almost certain that you can buy yourself a little more time. Attorney reasons for continuances range from scheduling conflicts to needing more time to prepare. While this is a costly way to keep pending judgments at bay, it will almost certainly result in your court date being pushed back for at least a little more time.
ScottyMacEsq : II - Get a Doctor's Note (if you can): Sickness and injury are two great ways to get out of going to court so long as there is a doctor's signature to corroborate said sickness or injury. In some cases, you do not have to be the person who is sick. Illness of a child or elder relative you care for can also result in a continuance (with proper doctor documentation).
ScottyMacEsq : III - Request Additional Time to Hire an Attorney : Although this may sound a little like our first way to postpone a court date, this one is a little different. In criminal court if your charges may result in a jail sentence and you do not qualify for court appointed counsel, you can probably request additional time to seek an attorney. But be ye warned when attempting this method, depending on how much time you have already had to seek counsel, this may not work. Also, in criminal cases if the prosecutor waives jail time, generally, the court will feel you do not need an attorney.
ScottyMacEsq : IV - Just Ask for It: Finally, often judges are quite reasonable especially in lower courts so there is no harm in asking for a continuance, be prepared to use any of the above reasons, but sometimes courts may grant them for other issues like child care problems, probationary periods at a new job, funerals, weddings, etc.
ScottyMacEsq : The form that you would want to file would a motion for continuance.
Can I personally do that or do I need an attorney?
ScottyMacEsq : An attorney would help. Like I said, the attorney is very good at getting continuances.
Okay so that's basically my next step. Could you have any estimate what attorney's fees would be for handling my case?
ScottyMacEsq : Especially an attorney that knows the judges and the prosecutors (i.e. a criminal law attorney that practices across the street from the courthouse).
ScottyMacEsq : On a case like this, it should be fairly low. I would say $500-$1000, but it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, experience, and what the lawyer needs to do. Key to it: shop around. Call a few different lawyers to see.
Okay so I need to research lawyers and find ones closet to this area
ScottyMacEsq : Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next. Also go by the courthouse and see who is close to the courthouse. These are the lawyers that practice there day in and day out.
Okay that sounds good to me. Is there any other advice that you can give me?
ScottyMacEsq : None that I can think of off the top of my head. If you don't get a continuance for the hearing, plead "not guilty." That will require a trial, and those usually take a while (hopefully). Again, an attorney can help postpone things. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!
ScottyMacEsq : You're welcome. If you have not yet, please click the "accept" button. Again, good luck to you!