Preliminary Criminal Proceedings
The First Appearance When the defendant is arrested and brought to jail, the defendant is entitled to a first appearance hearing. Here, the defendant is entitled to be represented by counsel. During the hearing, a judge informs the defendant of the charge, determines whether there is probable cause to detain the defendant in jail, what the bond amount, if any, will be.
The Arraignment After a defendant is arrested, taken to jail, and receives a first appearance before a judge to determine whether there is probable cause to hold the defendant for the alleged crime and determine if the defendant may get out of jail on a reasonable bail bond, the defendant is required to appear for an Arraignment.
The Arraignment is a court appearance where the defendant comes before a judge and is formally advised of the criminal charges lodged against him or her. In Florida the defendant is informed of the charges through a charging document called an Information. At the Arraignment, the defendant must enter a plea with respect to the charges against him or her. The defendant may plead: guilty, not guilty, no contest, or not guilty by reason of insanity. Careful consideration of how to plea must be given because if a plea of not guilty is made on the record, it cannot be withdrawn until one of the later criminal hearings on the case after the Arraignment. Prior to accepting a guilty plea, the trial judge must ascertain whether the guilty plea is given in a free, voluntary, knowing, and intelligent manner. Pretrial Motions Both sides may file pretrial motions. These motions involve issues that need to be decided before the commencement of a defendant's trial. Some examples of pretrial motions are:
Defendant's competency to stand trial.
Disqualification of a judge or recusal of a judge.
Severance of defendants or charges.
Suppression of evidence.
Violation of one of defendant's Sixth Amendment rights.
Transfer the case to another venue or jurisdiction.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.
The Law Office of Paul Courtright, P.A. 465 Maitland Avenue Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701 Tel: (407) 754-5858 Fax: (407) 386-6837 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask the attorney to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.