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When Are Continuances Granted in a South Dakota Criminal Case?

Drew Duncan
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan and Cole, LLP

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Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the criminal charges against you, it may be necessary to delay your trial. This may happen for a number of reasons, but it’s usually reserved for circumstances that would seriously affect the trial, such as where there is a scheduling conflict with a key witness or more time is needed to prepare a very complex case.

While some delays may be beyond your control, there are circumstances in which you and your attorney might benefit from delaying a trial or court appearance. In these cases, you and your attorney will need to ask the court for a “continuance,” or postponement of your court date. The court will make the decision to grant or deny the continuance based on:

  • Why you are asking for more time
  • How the decision to grant extra time affects your rights to a fair trial
  • If there are any complicated circumstances in the case
  • How many witnesses are involved
  • The impact of scheduling conflicts created by the delay
  • Other relevant factors

Once you’ve spoken with your attorney about the need for a continuance, he or she will usually take care of the paperwork for you and clearly explain anything that is required of you. Keep in mind that the postponement—if granted—is temporary, and you will have a limited amount of time to take any necessary action.

Ultimately, if you are facing criminal charges, the best action you can take is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can offer clear explanations and solutions every step of the way. To speak with our experienced legal team, call 888-733-2992 today.

Category: Criminal Defense


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