The person would generally have to show up for an initial appearance or arraignment because of the way cases proceed through the system. They would be informed of their pending charges and given their release conditions, they would have a plea of not guilty entered on their behalf, and if they were not already being represented by a private attorney or a public defender then they would be asked if they wanted to see if they qualified for a public defender, or asked whether they were planning on representing themselves or hiring a private attorney.
The following court date is called different things in different courts. Some courts call it the pre-disposition court date, some call it the pretrial court date, and some call it the status conference. It is basically a hearing that allows the judge to see the attorney and for the attorney to meet with the prosecutor and to possibly pick up police reports or discuss plea negotiations or dismissal of the case. The case is usually continued for another status conference about a month later, which is called a pre-trial conference, pre-disposition court, or status conferences.
There are usually going to be about three status conferences to give the attorney a chance to talk and to give the judge a chance to hear whether there are any issues with the case before a case is actually set for a trial. Some courts have a special court date called a “trial readiness conference,” and some courts have the “trial management conference,” although most courts tend to operate the same way and just label their court dates differently.
Should you keep the documents given by police officers?
It is always important to hold on to all of the documents the police officer gives you. Unfortunately, on occasion some police officers just forget to turn over the documents, and on other occasions someone is so impaired they forget to hold on to their documents.
Retaining the documents and bringing them to an attorney during a consultation is extremely important and will make everything go a lot smoother and would make understanding the process a lot easier. When I talk to potential clients during the consultation, one of the things I try to explain to them is how the Motor Vehicle Division aspect of the case operates.
Generally speaking, I tell clients that if they are going to try to represent themselves or if they are planning on being represented by a public defender, then very likely they would not want to do anything with the Motor Vehicle Division aspect of the case, and they would just want to let the suspension take effect as scheduled 15 days after the date of arrest.
The Motor Vehicle Division rules concerning license suspensions for being suspected of DUI are complicated, and if they are handled wrong then a person can end up having SR-22 high risk insurance. This is something that lasts for a couple of years and can cost several thousand dollars when everything is done.
I know what to do with the Motor Vehicle Division aspect when a client hires me to represent them. I also know how to allow my client to continue to drive for a few more months until I tell them otherwise, while protecting them from having to get SR-22 high risk insurance.
Will the person need to schedule days off from work?
The citation that the person was given should indicate the upcoming court date. Every now and again, even though the officer would have informed a suspect to show up in court on a certain date, the officer might not have turned in their copy of the paperwork to the court so the court would not be expecting them.
I explain to clients during consultation that if they decide to have me represent them, then I would be able to show up to their first court date on their behalf, so they would not need to appear and I would keep them updated with their upcoming court date and let them know if they had to appear at any of their upcoming court dates with me or whether I would be able to represent them on their behalf. This allows them to continue to work or go to school or do whatever they would otherwise be doing.
Someone who was arrested for a felony would be taken into custody, booked and then either released or given an upcoming court date. For a felony case, the client would have to appear themselves at every court date in the felony courts. The attorney would often be able to stand on their client’s behalf in misdemeanor courts. There are a few exceptions in certain justice courts, but for the most part the attorney would be able to stand in for them so they would not need to take off a day at work.
For more information on Arraignments and Hearing Dates, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 480-900-0384 today.