What happens in the first court appearance?

Early in the course of a criminal proceeding, the defendant will be brought into court and the charges brought against him or her by the government will be formally read. The defendant will be asked by the court whether he or she pleads guilty or not guilty to the charges. At that stage of the proceeding, the defendant is expected to have an attorney unless he or she has waived his or her right to have an attorney. If the defendant cannot afford to have an attorney and meets the local guidelines for the appointment of counsel, then the court will appoint an attorney to represent him or her in that criminal case.

Ask an Attorney

Feel free to ask a legal questions that you would like answered. Your question will go directly and only to Deskin Law Firm, a professional law corporation. Deskin Law Firm will contact you directly to discuss your situation, usually via telephone, so please provide multiple ways to reach you via phone. Your situation will be kept confidential. There is no cost to discuss your situation and no attorney-client relationship is created by simply filling out the form and sending it.

Please type your first and last name.

Please type your area code and phone number.

To most effectively be able to reach you, please type another phone number where we may be able to reach you.

Please type the city and state (and country if outside the USA) that you live in.

Please type your email address and check it to make sure it is correct.

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
5 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.