(CNN) - Lawyers for former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards asked Wednesday to delay the start of his federal criminal trial, which is set to begin in October.
Edwards said he needs more time to prepare his defense and called the government’s case against him a “novel legal theory,” according to a filing Wednesday.
The Justice Department brought charges against Edwards in June on allegations of conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws. He subsequently pleaded not guilty.
In the filing Wednesday, lawyers pointed to the need for more time due to Edwards’ position as the sole caretaker of his two young children, ages 11 and 13. They also noted that Edwards’ oldest child will marry in October and has planned a two-week honeymoon.
Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, passed away in December.
“The Defendant will simply not have the ability to care for his children and work with his attorneys if this case is tried at the October 2011 Criminal Term in light of the absence of his daughter,” the filing said.
The filing also cited the recent hiring of Edwards’ newest attorney, Abbe Lowell, and said Edwards needed more time to prepare with counsel.
Edwards warned that a failure in granting a delay in the trial would result in a “miscarriage of justice.”
A grand jury is investigating whether money given to support Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, by benefactors of Edwards should have been considered campaign donations, a contention Edwards' team has disputed. They maintain the money was a gift.
If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million.