How do you get an adjournment of your Court hearing?
An adjournment is a postponement of the Court hearing to another date which can be applied for by either you or the Prosecution.
If you’re applying for an adjournment, you’ll need to know that the Court will only consider and approve asks for adjournments if they are supported by genuine reasons.
The steps for applying for an adjournment are as follows:
- You’ll submit an application for an adjournment
- The Court will consider your application. If either side objects to the ask for an adjournment, the Court will consider the reasons given by each side before deciding whether to grant the adjournment. If the Court approves your Application, you’ll be informed of the new hearing date, which you must attend
- If the Court rejects your Application, you must still attend the original hearing date
The Prosecution can apply for an adjournment for a number of reasons and in different situations, such as:
- For further investigations to be conducted e.g. if the investigating officer needs time to conduct more interviews with witnesses, record statements from them or get more evidence
- To apply for reports to be prepared by third parties e.g. accident-reconstruction reports, medical reports or Health Sciences Authority reports
- To obtain input from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and office of the Public Prosecutor on the case
- To review and reply to the letters of representations and appeals made by the accused person
Likewise, you or your Defence Lawyer are also entitled to apply for an adjournment if you have valid reasons to ask for more time to do the following things:
- To consult or engage a lawyer – this includes a situation in which you need more time to approach social assistance groups and organisations such as the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) for a volunteer Defence Lawyer to represent you on a pro bono basis (meaning free of charge)
- To write letters of representations and appeals to the Prosecutor – these are done to explain, clarify and negotiate with the Prosecution to persuade them to take a more lenient approach in handling your case
- To raise money to pay the anticipated fine that will be imposed by the Court
- To compound the matter and pay the composition fine or amount
- To settle and take care of your personal affairs before you start serving an imprisonment term
If you need an adjournment, you can apply for one through the following ways:
- Oral Application: this means that you’ll inform the Judge during the actual Court hearing of your ask. If your ask for the adjournment is approved, by the Judge, the Court will issue you with notice (known as a mention slip) stating the date, time and venue of your next Court hearing.
- Online Application: if your case is being handled through the Court’s online portal such as the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS), you can file an online application to reschedule the Court hearing date through the portal either via the internet or using the ICMS kiosks located in the State Courts building. You can see the outcome of your ask by logging into the ICMS portal with your SingPass to check on the application status. If your ask is approved, the new date and time for the Court hearing will be shown in the portal. If your application is rejected, you must attend the Court hearing originally scheduled. If your application for an adjournment has been rejected and you still miss the next Court hearing, the Court can issue a Warrant of Arrest against you.
So, there you’ve it, some basic information on: how you get an adjournment of your Court hearing. Get in touch with our best criminal lawyers in Singapore for further legal advice.