Definition - What does Continuance mean?

A continuance happens when the court postpones or suspends the date of a hearing, conference or trial. Continuances are at the discretion of the court and may be granted to give one or both of the parties time to collect more evidence, locate a necessary witness, facilitate an attorney’s scheduling conflict, or in the interests of justice.

Justipedia explains Continuance

The court’s discretion to grant a continuance is a reflection of the real-world context that the law occurs in. Attorneys often have busy schedules, sometimes surprising evidence becomes available, and key witnesses can be difficult to track down.

A court must balance a variety of factors when deciding to allow a continuance, including a defendant’s right to a speedy trial, the possibility that necessary evidence may be excluded without a continuance, and whether or not both parties agree to a continuance.

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