Delaying a scheduled court appearance on a misdemeanor charge is possible by filing a continuance motion with the court, according to Lawyers.com. In criminal cases, you must ask your defense attorney to file a pretrial continuance motion, and provide valid reasons for needing more time. You cannot avoid court altogether.
Pretrial continuance motions are commonly filed to give a defendant more time to prepare his case. Valid reasons for needing more time include problems with securing legal representation for the court date, or the case is too complex and the attorney requires time to gather facts, notes Lawyers.com. Continuance motions are granted because a key witness cannot be located and your legal team is working on finding the witness. The prosecution is often willing to grant a continuance when both sides agree it is helpful to the case. If you are ill, or your attorney is ill, a continuance is justified.
If your court date conflicts with the observance of a religious holiday, it is okay to ask your attorney to file a continuance, according to Lawyers.com. Not showing up for a scheduled court appearance is grounds for the court to hold you in contempt of court, or to charge you with failure to appear, depending on state laws, notes Nolo. Penalties include stiff fines, bond revocation and jail time.