What are the Court Dates I was given?
Every client receives two court dates upon release from jail. The first is an Initial Appearance date. It is usually about 6 weeks from your arrest date. This is the first time you will meet your public defender. By this time your public defender will usually have discovery on your case and be able to meaningfully discuss the case with you. You will also decide at this meeting whether to have a preliminary hearing. This is not a court date and you will not see a judge on this date. However it is very important to show up so that you can meet your public defender, they can learn about you and about your case, and they can talk to you about preliminary hearing. Although you generally would not be bench warranted for missing this first meeting (some exceptions do exist), you can waive important rights if you don’t appear.
The second date is about 6 weeks after the initial appearance date. This is a bond returnable date. This meeting takes place during a court week, but you will not necessarily see a judge. If you miss this court date you can and likely will be bench warranted. So it is very important to be present, to provide a documented excuse if you absolutely cannot appear for any reason (extended hospital stay, severe illness, incarceration, etc.), and to reschedule your appearance as soon as possible if you miss this court date. This date exists to ensure that clients who are out on bond are still showing up to court as required. It is also an opportunity for your attorney to provide you with any updates or offers they might have for you at this time. If your case is ready to go in front of a judge you could do so that day, but generally you will not see a judge at the bond returnable day.

Show All Answers

1. What is a Public Defender?
2. Do I qualify for a Public Defender?
3. How do I apply for a Public Defender?
4. What are the Court Dates I was given?
5. What is discovery?
6. What is a preliminary hearing?