Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for your question. You have a right, under the SIxth Amendment to the Constitution, to be represented by counsel. If you explain to the court that you have attempted to secure counsel, but have been unable to before the trial date, or that the counsel you have retained is unable to appear for the first trial date because of a conflict in scheduling, the court will grant you a continuance.
Be prepared to answer the court's questions as to what you have done to seek counsel. Sometimes the judge may want to ascertain that your request is legitimate, i.e., you're not stalling on finding a lawyer as a delay tactic. Even if it appears you are doing so, the court will typically grant a continuation, but it will be for a much shorter period.
Also, be prepared to ask for, or answer for how long you will need to retain counsel.
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