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Can I hire a special appearance attorney to ask for a continuance on a misdemeanor?

San Jose, CA |

First court date was "no complaint". Second rescheduled date doesn't work for me. I got the run around between 3 different offices when I tried to reschedule my court date myself. This is a cut and dry, 2nd offense dui. no need for full representation. i represented myself on the first one as well. If they want to forgo my law abiding reasonable request to reschedule within 72 hours, I'm thinking of just sending special appearance attorneys repeatedly for continuances until it is convenient for me.... Guess I'll find out if I'm over reacting if I get a discharge notice. Would be nice to get that 10% back...

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

I've read the other answers and I would suggest that you hire an attorney to make one court appearance and give him all of the dates you are available. At most the court is likely to issue a bench warrant for your arrest but hold it in the file until the date you advise the attorney that you can appear. If you failed to appear on that date the judge would lift the hold on the warrant and you would be subject to arrest on the warrant.
Although you didn't ask about this, you may want to consult a local DUI attorney on the merits of the DUI. I recently got a 0.20 BAC second time "cut and dry" DUI dismissed at the DMV and in court. I don't practice in your area so this isn't a pitch for business.



Thank you for an actual answer. Every attorney I've asked to make one appearance for me has dismissed the request and tried to push me to fully retain them for the duration of the case. All these possibilities aside, I won't even find out if the DA has filed a complaint until my next court date. So the appearance of an attorney, or special appearance attorney, could end up being just to find out if I even needed to be there. Why am I not allowed to reschedule my own court date??


Appearance attorneys are used when an attorney of record cannot make a court date. In your case there is no attorney of record. The judge might let an appearance attorney continue your case once for you to find representation but 3 times? No that's not going to work. BTW most appearance attorneys will only appear for another licensed attorney.


You MIGHT be able to do that, but as Mr. Kaman states, most "special appearance attorneys" are appearing on behalf of other lawyers not on behalf of a pro-per defendant. A second offense DUI is not really that cut and dry. You should suck it up and hire an attorney to handle the entire case.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--19 years experience. Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy


When you hire an attorney, the attorney will make a "general appearance" on your case and will be recognized as the attorney of record. The attorney of record can hire an attorney to make a "special appearance" on the initial or any other subsequent hearing (that's allowed by the court). An attorney can't specially appear for a non-attorney defendant that is representing himself pro-per. You maybe able to work out a deal with an attorney where said attorney represents you generally and be paid on an hourly or per/court appearance basis but I don't think you'll find an attorney to make a special appearance for a pro-per defendant.


I hate to be slightly non responsive but it needs to be repeated, there is nothing cut and dry about a second dui. There are serious repercussions for a second deuce conviction, including jail time. Get an attorney. There are valuable tools an attorney can use to reduce or dismiss the charges. Do some research, have a few free consultations and retain.


I agree with some of the answers above. Most special attorneys will only appear for other attorneys. Additionally the Judge may allow one or two continuances but will eventually expect you to plead or go to trial. DUIs and 2nd DUIs are not cut and dry. You really should consider hiring an attorney because the consequences could be jail time