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When a court date is set for 7 weeks ahead on a criminal law…

When a court date is...
When a court date is set for 7 weeks ahead on a criminal law case, can the attorney request a continuance on the day of that scheduled court date (I believe the trial date given that arraignment has occurred) for most any reason and expect it to be granted if this is the first request for a continuance? For example, can the attorney plead they need more time to prepare even though the court date was known for 7 weeks but in this case, 4 of those weeks might not count since the entire courthouse shut down for summer recess for the entire month of July and most attorneys took vacations or did other things besides legal preparation during that time. Would that be a strong enough pleading for the judge to grant a continuance, typically? Or need there be a stronger reason such that the judge would order the case to trial immediately that day as scheduled for lack of a better reason than "needing more time" when the date was known for 7 weeks prior? The attorney is attempting to get the case transferred from civilian court to Veteran's court which will take time as well as interviews with the Veteran's court -- but if that request is denied before the civilian court date for trial, it would negate the defense attorney's primary reason to ask for a continuance and cause them to try to produce an alternate reason which in this case would be truthful, i.e. needing more time to prepare as no preparations have been made thus far (or that I have been informed of and having received no pre-trial prep from my attorney.) What are the chances for success that the continuance request will be granted? The attorney appears confident that the continuance will be granted but I've seen attorneys guess wrong and unpleasant surprises resulted in harrowing consequences. A valid dynamic (as advised by the Hispanic attorney) is that the defendant is Non-Hispanic Caucasian while over 95% of those operating in this courthouse and living in the local population on the US border to Mexico, is Hispanic.
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8/22/2017
PhillipsEsq
PhillipsEsq, Attorney-at-Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,593
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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When a court date is set for 7 weeks ahead on a criminal law case, can the attorney request a continuance on the day of that scheduled court date (I believe the trial date given that arraignment has occurred) for most any reason and expect it to be granted if this is the first request for a continuance?

Response 1: No. The Attorney must have a very good reason for seeking a continuance.

For example, can the attorney plead they need more time to prepare even though the court date was known for 7 weeks but in this case, 4 of those weeks might not count since the entire courthouse shut down for summer recess for the entire month of July and most attorneys took vacations or did other things besides legal preparation during that time. Would that be a strong enough pleading for the judge to grant a continuance, typically?

Response 2: No.

Or need there be a stronger reason such that the judge would order the case to trial immediately that day as scheduled for lack of a better reason than "needing more time" when the date was known for 7 weeks prior?

Response 3: Yes.

The attorney is attempting to get the case transferred from civilian court to Veteran's court which will take time as well as interviews with the Veteran's court -- but if that request is denied before the civilian court date for trial, it would negate the defense attorney's primary reason to ask for a continuance and cause them to try to produce an alternate reason which in this case would be truthful, i.e. needing more time to prepare as no preparations have been made thus far (or that I have been informed of and having received no pre-trial prep from my attorney.) What are the chances for success that the continuance request will be granted?

Response 4: Unfortunately, trying to guess what the Judge would do or not do is an exercise in futility. No Attorney can guarantee the decision that a Judge would make. However, this is a 50/50 proposition unfortunately.

The attorney appears confident that the continuance will be granted but I've seen attorneys guess wrong and unpleasant surprises resulted in harrowing consequences. A valid dynamic (as advised by the Hispanic attorney) is that the defendant is Non-Hispanic Caucasian while over 95% of those operating in this courthouse and living in the local population on the US border to Mexico, is Hispanic.

Response 5: An Attorney can only make an educated guess. A guess is not a guarantee on how a Judge would rule in a case because only the Judge knows. No Attorney can guarantee a Judge's decision.

Best wishes,

PhillipsEsq
PhillipsEsq, Attorney-at-Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,593
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Short answers given with not much explanation and a scary outlook less optimistic than the attorney who has operated in this courthouse 2 blocks from his office for 2 decades. I will inquire with attorney further for stronger probability estimate of what is going to happen. Surprises can be devastating and we want no surprises. Thanks for the Devil's Advocate point of view.

I am sorry for being the bearer of bad news here. It is no my intent to be be a "Debbie Downer." My purpose on this site is offer an honest view of the case as I see it based on the information provided and based on my more than 18 years of practicing law.

Best wishes,

Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question

I am sorry for being the bearer of bad news here. It is no my intent to be a "Debbie Downer." My purpose on this site is to offer an honest view of the case as I see it based on the information provided and based on my more than 18 years of practicing law.

Best wishes,

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PhillipsEsq
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Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,593
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