Motion to Continue Criminal Trial/Hearing
The requirements to obtain a continuance of a criminal trial or hearing in California are contained within Penal Code §1050, et seq. Complying with these requirements are essential to having your motion granted. Failure to comply could result in the motion being denied and possible sanctions.
A written notice is required to be filed and served on all parties involved at least two court days prior to the trial/hearing which you are seeking to continue. Affidavits or declarations must be included detailing the specific facts as to why a continuance is necessary.
Unless a waiver of service has been obtained, you must prove that all parties have been served and the documents have been received.
If either party files said motion without the required two day court notice, the court will hold a hearing to decide whether or not there is good cause for failure to provide the notice. If the moving party fails to show good cause, the motion will be denied. At that time, the moving party will be subjected to sanctions.
The moving party is also required to show good cause as to why the motion should be granted. If good cause is shown and the motion is granted, the trial/hearing will only be continued for the period of time which is necessary as shown by the evidence in the motion and
If a party requests a continuance in order to secure the testimony of a witness, they must show due diligence is securing the attendance of that witness, i.e. the witness would not be able to testify within a reasonable amount of time.
Other situations which could constitute good cause for a continuance might be when you or your counsel need more time to prepare for your defense and investigate the case further. Also, if a new attorney takes over the case, and the filing of the previous attorney was not made in bad faith, it is essential for the motion to be granted in order for new counsel to prepare the case.
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