Motion to Continue – request a new trial date for a criminal case due to a logical reason (i.e. conflicted schedule, finding of new evidence, the case depends upon the rescheduling)

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motion to continue:

1. A type of request, made by either the defense or the prosecution in a criminal case, to establish a new trial date.  

n. (14c)

1. Procedure. The adjournment or postponement of a trial or other proceeding to a future date <motion for continuance>.  — continue, vb. [1]

1. An adjournment of a case from one day to another, in the same or in a later term, or to a later hour of the same day.  17 Am J2d Contin § 1. [2]

1. Adjournment of the hearing of a case from one date to another or to a later hour on the same day.
     Compare recess. [3]

Applying a Motion to Continue:

     In order to request a continuance, the party initiating the motion must provide a suitable reason for this action. This may involve the acquisition of new or important evidence.  In addition, an individual may motion to continue if he/she must subpoenakey witness.  It is important to note that a continuance will not always be granted.  Usually, a judge will be more likely to issue a continuance early in the trial.  The judge may not authorize a continuance if the case has already been delayed several times.  However, if the continuance is vital to the outcome of a criminal trial, the judge will most likely approve the motion to continue.  The decision regarding a motion to continue is left solely to the judge presiding over the criminal case. [4]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.



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