How to Handle a Postponed Court Date Due to the Pandemic

COVID-19 closed state and county courts for months, forcing postponements in court dates. The judicial system is still trying to dig out from the backlog of cases. Many cases are still facing lengthy delays. Defendants should remain in continuous contact with their attorney to learn about key court dates and to prepare for their legal process.

Pay Close Attention to Court Instructions and Orders

When the court postponed your date, they sent you a letter in the mail. The court will likely give you detailed instructions about what you should do next if your court date was postponed. Pay particular attention to those instructions because you are expected to follow them. If you did not have an attorney when you got the letter informing you of the postponement, make sure to give it to your lawyer along with all of the other important documents.

You have the ability to ask the court about your case without speaking to the judge. If you are seeking more information about administrative matters that relate to your case, you can always call the court clerk to ask for information. In addition, you should monitor the court’s website for any important announcements that could affect the timing of your case.

If there is a reason for emergency relief while you are waiting for your court date, your attorney should raise that to the judge. The court may still conduct hearings relating to your case on an emergency basis. They may even conduct a hearing remotely. A court date postponement does not postpone your legal right to due process, nor does it suspend it.

If there are any conditions attached to your release, you must still continue to follow them, even when your court date has been postponed. In other words, the terms of your bail still apply, no matter how long it takes for the rescheduled court date. If you need relief for specific circumstances, your attorney may petition the court.

See if You Can Use the Extra Time to Your Benefit

In the meantime, you have the ability to prepare your legal defense, working together with your attorney. Just because the hearing is delayed does not mean that your lawyer cannot be hard at work gathering evidence that could fight your charges or figuring out how to defend you. The postponed hearing may not help you on the merits of your defense, but it could allow you more time to figure out the best defense.

In addition, the increased amount of time until your court date could also work to your advantage. The prosecutor could have a larger caseload and backlog, and they may be more motivated to offer you a better plea bargain.

Speak with Our Austin TX Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are in the criminal justice system, you need legal advice to help you with matters exactly like this one. The attorneys at Granger and Mueller P.C. have been helping defendants fight for their legal rights for almost three decades. Call us today at (512) 474-9999 or contact us online to discuss your case.