Who do I call to get a postponement on my court date?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who do I call to get a postponement on my court date?

I live in Southern California and received a citation for ‘attempted possession’
of marijuana since I am a medical patient but did not have doc. on hand. The
court date is Monday and I have absolutely NO way to get there. When I called the
court clerk, she said I could email the court email and I did but I have received
no response. The public defenders office also could not help me. I don’t want to
get a bench warrant but it’s impossible to get there so soon. Who can I call to
help me?

Asked on March 8, 2018 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to, between now and Monday, to get an adjournment; the court is not open over the weekend to process this. And note also that an adjournment is not a right--that is, the court could decide to not grant you one (they are commonly granted, but are not mandatory); therefore, you can never count on having an adjournment request granted.
If there is ANY way to get there, do so--rent a car if you need to; use Uber; etc.
If you simply can't get there, hire a lawyer over the weekend and have the lawyer appear for you. The lawyer will likely not be able to fully resolve the matter without your appearance--there will be likely be a 2nd date set to resolve it--but if your attorney shows up, you will not be sanctioned for missing the trial date. Besides, with even a minor drug offense charge, you really should have a lawyer, anyway.
If you can't get a lawyer and can't get there, then call the court the day of trial again, to let them know you were unable to get there--and have a *good* reason why (not just that it was inconvenient). Ask them for a new date. Go in person the first chance you get after that to confirm the new date at the clerk's office (i.e. get something in writing from the court with the new date).

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