Q: Can I stop a court proceedings if I feel I need a lawyer? May I ask the judge to hold the proceeding if I need a lawyer?
I feel I may need to ask for representation in a family court case. I have court tomorrow and if I feel I need a lawyer can I ask the judge to stop and allow me to get one?
A: You can request a continuance to retain an attorney. The Motion may not be granted but it is worth the attempt. You should contact an attorney immediately to seek representation so that you can inform the Judge that you have already began the process of securing representation.
A: You can certainly ask, but be prepared for the court hearing to go forward.
A: You can absolutely try to do this via a Motion to Continue and a proposed Order. However, it is important that you contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Good luck!
IF you are able to contact and retain an attorney today who is able to accommodate your appearance tomorrow, it would be better to have your new attorney request a continuance in order to familiarize themselves with your case. Be forewarned, if you request a continuance on your own and then show up next time both without an attorney and unprepared, you are really, REALLY going to wish you had hired an attorney.
I suggest you only request a continuance if you are actually going to retain counsel. I would make sincere efforts to find a lawyer today. If you are unable to retain counsel today, you will at least be able to advise the Court of your attempts to retain counsel and relate your confidence that you will be able to have representation before the next appearance.
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