Criminal Defense in Orange County
What is a Motion for Continuance?

Orange County Continuance Motions

Protect Your Right to a Fair Trial

Under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, every citizen accused of a criminal offense has the right to a fair trial. Thus, if the scheduling of your trial may cause a miscarriage of justice, you have the right to submit a motion for continuance to postpone or adjourn it. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we are proud to protect the rights of our clients and can help ensure that adequate time is provided to build a strong, aggressive defense.

For more than 35 years, our Anaheim criminal defense attorney, Barney B. Gibbs, has been providing passionate and effective legal counsel to individuals accused of criminal offenses. He has handled more than 3,000 criminal cases and knows how to recognize when a defendant's rights are not being upheld. Additionally, he has been rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell®, which means that the quality of his legal representation has been recognized by his peers.

Grounds of Good Cause for a Continuation

In order for a court to grant a motion for continuation, it must be proven that there is a legitimate cause for the postponement. It will more likely be granted to a defendant than the prosecution, as the prosecution is expected to be prepared before filing an action. Furthermore, a continuance may be ordered by a court in its own motion in certain circumstances, such as failure to appear.

Examples of good cause for a defendant's motion for continuance include:

  • Lack of preparation – if cause is excusable and not ignorance, negligence, or delay
  • Change of counsel – as long as the withdrawal or replacement is not found to be a stall tactic
  • Pendency of action – when the outcome of another, related proceeding might impact justice
  • Illness – if the health of a party might prevent participation in the trial

What happens if a witness is unavailable?

The unavailability of a witness, if on good faith, is considered grounds for a continuance, but it will likely take the aggressive defense of an Anaheim criminal lawyer to prove. It must be shown that the information that would be provided through the witness' testimony cannot be obtained elsewhere. Additionally, you must prove that due diligence was taken in order to retrieve the witness, such as submitting a subpoena within a reasonable amount of time before the trial date. Furthermore, the reason for a witness' absence must be excusable; a witness being on vacation does not prove just cause, unless he or she was under subpoena.

Motions on the Grounds of Scheduling Conflicts

With so many individuals involved in criminal proceedings, there may be instances in which the scheduling of a trial conflicts with a member of either party. If the affected party does not submit an immediate motion for continuance or fails to declare ready for trial, consent to the date is implied by silence. Any continuances, objections, or general rescheduling due to conflicts must always be submitted in the best interest of justice. It is important to note that absurd and excessive requests for continuances may be counterproductive.

This is why it is essential to hire an attorney who understands the appropriate and necessary times to pursue such motions. If a court calendar is congested and good efforts have been made to secure all of the necessary factors of a trial, permission to continue a trial for a week may be granted, depending on the circumstances. A common method of relieving congested court calendars is through half-day trials, which may not always be convenient for the defense. In this case, an objection can be made and the court will have to show good cause.

Gain Representation from a Dedicated Law Firm

The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs has been rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau in recognition of our commitment to our clients. We offer financing options, including payment plans, to ensure that every individual can access effective legal representation. Our Anaheim criminal defense lawyer is determined to help defend your right to a fair trial and will aggressively pursue motions for continuance to ensure that we have the time needed to build a strong case on your behalf.

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Awards

  • NORTH ORANGE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
  • Better Business Bureau

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