Life is full of ‘rules of thumb’. A stride is about a yard, as soon as you light a cigarette at a restaurant – your food will arrive, if you forget your anniversary – your wife won’t. It goes on and on – but in the legal world there are also ‘rules of thumb’. One of those rules is that every side will get one continuance. I’m speaking about criminal cases here – but generally speaking a Judge will grant the prosecutor a continuance if they request it and they’ll grant the defense a continuance if they request it. That’s not so say that you can ask for a continuance on the day of a long-scheduled jury trial and it will be granted – but as a general rule, the judge will grant a continuance for each side. There are some considerations to keep in mind. Does the speedy trial time count towards the prosecution or defense? Is there a difference between asking for a continuance of a trial and a continuance of a motion to suppress? For example, just today a judge granted the third continuance of a motion to suppress – none of which were requested by me. The first one was because the Judge was in a jury trial, the second because the state’s witnesses didn’t show up, and the third was because the state failed to notify their witnesses. Of course I objected, but the Judge ruled against me. So, if you’re a defendant and your case is continued – understand that sometimes this happens. It can certainly be frustrating and it can even cause the case to ‘run out of time’ to be brought to trial. The thing to remember is that just because there is a continuance granted, that doesn’t mean that it can’t end up helping your case in the future.