Justin Craven of the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group wrote this article. He has more than 18 years of experience appearing for clients in Courts in Queensland. His Court appearances have included asking Courts to adjourn cases for various reasons.
Have you been issued a Notice to Appear in a Queensland Magistrates Court for a criminal offence or charged with a criminal offence and are not ready for your court date? Do you need time to speak to a criminal lawyer, get material for your case or send a submission to the Prosecution? If so, you will want to adjourn your case to allow you time to do these things. In this article, we guide you on what you should do to get your case adjourned.
Are you charged with a criminal offence, have a court hearing date, and need to get it adjourned? The Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group can help you get the adjournment.
What is an adjournment?
When a case is mentioned in Court, the Prosecution or defence can ask for an adjournment. When the defence or the Prosecution asks for an adjournment, they ask the Court to put the case off to another court date. If the Court grants the adjournment, the case is delayed or held to another date.
What is a good reason for adjournment?
If you want to ask the Court for an adjournment, you must tell the Magistrate or Judge why you want an adjournment. The Court will not grant you an adjournment for any reason. You must clearly explain to the Court why you need the adjournment. In some situations, you may need to give the Court evidence (documentation) to the Court to support your application for the adjournment. No matter how good you think your reason is for requesting the adjournment, you should never assume it will be granted. It is the discretion of the Magistrate or Judge if they will grant you the adjournment. You should always be prepared for the Court not to grant you the adjournment.
Some of the common reasons defendants will ask for an adjournment at a Court mention are:
1. To get legal advice.
2. Time to review the evidence the prosecution has disclosed to them.
3. They have a medical appointment that cannot be moved.
4. They need time to send a submission to the prosecution (this may be to ask the prosecution to downgrade the charge, discontinue the charge or amend the facts they allege against you for the charge).
5. They need more time to place their lawyer in funds to represent them.
Some reasons defendants may ask for an adjournment of a trial are:
1. Key witnesses are unavailable when the trial is listed.
2. They need more time to place their lawyer in funds to represent them.
3. The prosecution has not disclosed all the evidence.
Should I tell the Prosecution I want an Adjournment?
If you want to ask the Court for an adjournment, you should first tell the Prosecution you will be asking the Court for one. You don’t want to go front up before the Court asking for your adjournment and have the Prosecution jumping up and down to oppose your application. Even if you tell the Prosecution first, they may still jump up and down, but at least you will know their reaction. If the Prosecution doesn’t tell you they will oppose your application, it should be much smoother sailing in Court.
How do I adjourn a court date in Qld?
If you want to adjourn a court date in Queensland, how you can do it will depend on whether you are legally represented or self-represented.
If you are self-represented, you will need to attend Court in person. If you are not confident speaking in Court, it may be best if you write out what you are going to say. The usual wording would look something like “Your Honour I am seeking an adjournment today because …………..”.
Whatever you do, before asking for an adjournment:
1. Be prepared.
2. Know what you are going to say.
3. Know why you are asking for the adjournment.
4.If needed, have evidence (documents) to support your application for the adjournment. Not every application will require evidence.
If you are legally represented, your lawyer, with the consent of the Prosecution, can apply online for an adjournment in the Magistrates Court using the Court’s website. There are conditions:
1. The matter must already have a court listing date. The court date cannot be the first return date for the Notice to Appear (NTA).
2. Consent must be obtained from the prosecution.
3. The application must be made before 4:00 pm two business days before the court date.
Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group, The Criminal Law Experts
If police charge you with a criminal offence, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with a criminal defence lawyer. But not any criminal lawyer- you need an expert.
You need the best Brisbane criminal lawyers if you want the best result. Contact the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group today for confidential expert advice. We represent clients throughout South-East Queensland. No matter where your criminal charge is, our criminal lawyers can help you.