Can I Change a Court Date if I do Not Have a Lawyer Yet?

If you are facing criminal charges in Austin, a court date may be postponed for a period of time while you get an experienced Travis County, TX criminal defense attorney on your side.

Anytime you are involved in the legal system, there are complex rules and procedures that must be followed. This includes mandatory attendance at court hearings. Failure to adhere to court rules and requirements could result in serious penalties, including fines, a default conviction, and a warrant being issued for your arrest. However, you do have rights in these proceedings, which include having an experienced Travis County criminal defense attorney on your side. If you have not yet obtained professional legal representation, you may be able to postpone a court date until you do.

The Criminal Court Process in Texas

For most people, facing criminal charges is the first time they have had any contact or experience with the criminal court system. As a result, they are unfamiliar with all the processes and procedures that must be followed. These will vary depending on the types of charges you face and your particular situation. The State Bar of Texas advises that steps your case may follow include:

● Indictment: If you are accused of a crime but not immediately charged, your case may first go before a grand jury. Based on evidence in your case and the testimony of law enforcement officials or prosecuting attorneys, they will decide if there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal case against you.

● Arraignment: If an indictment is issued or you were immediately arrested either at the scene or shortly after a crime was committed, an arraignment hearing will be held within 72 hours of your arrest. At this hearing the charges against you will be read in court and you will be given the opportunity to enter a plea.

● Trial: Texas law requires that your trial commence within 180 days of your arrest. However, if you have not yet obtained legal counsel, a postponement may be requested.

Requesting a Continuance

It is advised that you get an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately if you are arrested and charged with a crime or even if you simply face allegations. This should occur before your arraignment, so you can be advised on your rights prior to entering a plea.

However, if you have not hired an attorney to appear on your behalf at this proceeding, you can still do so at any time. Once you do, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows the judge to grant a continuance, meaning that any court dates are postponed while we familiarize ourselves with your situation and investigate the circumstances surrounding your case.

Get Our Austin Criminal Defense Attorneys on Your Side

At Granger and Mueller PC, we know that the best criminal defense begins early. To get our team working on your side, contact our Travis County criminal defense attorneys and request a consultation today.

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