court gavel

Can A Lawyer Reschedule My Court Date?

Can an Attorney Help Get My Hearing Date Moved?

TL/DR Summary:

Sometimes rescheduling helps you. Sometimes, it does not.

As your attorneys, we will use our experience and judgment to decide what to do on a particular date. Sometimes, that means a reschedule. Sometimes, it means proceeding with a trial.

We can’t say for sure in advance what will happen, but whatever it is will be done with your best interest in mind.

That said, keep reading below to learn more.

Clients ask me whether I can reschedule their court date in advance of their hearings all the time. It depends on a few factors.

Factor 1: What is the history of the ticket?

The older a ticket is, the harder it is to reschedule.

Generally speaking, after a ticket is two or three years old, judges are reluctant to reschedule again. TVB courts are backlogged, and the higher-ups want to finish older cases.

The more times a ticket has been rescheduled, the harder it is to reschedule it another time. For example, if a case is rescheduled for the motorist to hire a lawyer or gather evidence, then the judge will expect the motorist to have hired the lawyer or gathered the evidence by the time the next date arrives. Most judges will not reschedule a case for a third time. And some might not grant a second motorist reschedule.

On a first time-on case, we will probably (but not always!) reschedule. On a second and third appearance, it becomes more and less likely that we will go to trial.

Factor 2: Who is the judge?

Every TVB court is different. Some, like Staten Island, are small, with just two trial judges on most days. Others, like Manhattan South, are much busier, with seven judges.

No matter the court, the judge for your case will be randomly assigned. You might have Judge Smith for the first date, request a reschedule, and get Judge Jones the next time; request another reschedule, and get Judge Miller the third time. Or you could get Judge Smith all three times. It’s unpredictable. The cases are assigned to hearing rooms the day before the trial date, and those assignments are based on administrative reasons such as the calendar volume, police officer schedules, and judge schedules.

If you have an unfavorable judge on a given court date, your attorney will try to reschedule with the hopes of getting a better judge on the next date. If you have a favorable judge, your attorney will be more inclined to proceed and try to win at trial.

Factor 3: Is the police officer present?

As a general matter, cops that write tickets in NYC attend their court dates; it’s a part of their job to do so. But they don’t always, for a wide array of potential reasons.

If the officer is not present, your attorney will proceed and try to get the ticket dismissed.

If they are present, we may be inclined to request a reschedule, based on some of the factors listed above.

Keep in mind that your attorney is well-equipped to know if your officer is actually there. We know them, often on a first-name basis, and we often know if they’re coming before they even show up. We may often know to the month when they are retiring. This is because, as experienced traffic attorneys, we have an in-depth local knowledge of your court that affords us numerous benefits.

And you’d be amazed how many times a client has told me that his officer is not there the moment that officer walks right past him down the hallway.