One aspect of Criminal Defense work that seems to bring about the most questions and/or confusion is the issue regarding the continuance of a criminal case. Criminal cases are continued when one side, either the Commonwealth (the prosecution) or the Defense is not ready to proceed to trial. In the anatomy of a Criminal Defense case, a case is scheduled for a trial and usually one or both sides aren’t ready to proceed to trial at the first listing of the case. If one party is not ready to proceed to trial, then that side may request that the Judge grant them a continuance. Corruption of Minors Frequently, the court will grant each side at least one continuance to prepare for trial or file motions. Parties are typically able to ask for more than one continuance of their case, in particularly when the case is very serious. Make sure to consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense attorney if you are requesting that your Criminal Defense case be continued.
There are several different reasons why a case might be continued. First of which might be because one side is waiting on Discovery. In a Criminal Defense case, discovery is the evidence which exists against the Defendant. The Defendant cannot be expected to proceed to trial if he does not have his discovery. The absence of discovery is an excellent reason for a case to be continued. Cyberbullying Another reason that a case might be continued is that either the defense or the government wants to file a motion to keep the jury from hearing certain evidence that might have been seized illegally by the police. A continuance will typically be granted by the Court In these circumstances where one side wishes to file a motion to have the Judge decide if certain evidence may be heard by the jury.