There are many ways that you and your traffic attorney can handle your first court date after you've been charged with a traffic offense. While pleading guilty or fighting the charge are two common outcomes, another option for you and your legal representation to discuss is to file a continuance motion. Doing so is essentially a way to ask the judge for more time to prepare your case, which he or she will hopefully grant you. You don't file a continuance motion just to delay having to answer for your alleged traffic violation. Rather, you may choose to file this motion because of the following reasons.
There Are No Witnesses Available
Witnesses can often make or break a traffic court case, so if there's a possibility of getting a witness to testify on your behalf, you don't want your case to begin until this person is available. You may file a continuance motion if your attorney's investigators haven't yet tracked down a witness to your incident, but hope to. Or, you might have a good witness who simply isn't available for your initial court date. For example, if the witness is happy to help you but is away on vacation at the time of your initial court date, you may press for a continuance and a new court date when he or she is back.
You Experienced Technical Delays
Sometimes, a traffic case can have technical delays that could prompt you and your attorney to file a continuance motion. There are many sorts of delays that could apply to your case. For example, perhaps your attorney is attempting to obtain traffic camera footage or security camera footage from the scene, but there are delays in getting it. Or, maybe you were using a dash camera at the time of the incident, but are having trouble retrieving the footage from it. The continuance motion gives you and your team time to get these critical elements ready.
You've Shown Self-Improvement
It may also be worthwhile to file a continuance motion if you're working on improving yourself in some driving-related manner to show contrition to the court. For example, your attorney may have suggested that you enroll in a safe driving program if you were charged with careless driving. If you've done so, and the course isn't quite over, a continuance motion may be advisable. This way, during your next court date, your attorney can demonstrate how you've successfully completed the course. This may impact your sentencing.
To learn more about how to handle a traffic case, visit resources such as https://www.trafficlawyersuffolkcounty.com/.