When someone is arrested they are understandable confused and scared. They do not know what will happen to them or when they will be brought before a Judge. In Florida, when someone is arrested they must (unless a lawful extension is granted) be brought before a Judge within 24 hours of the arrest in a proceeding called “First Appearance.” At first appearance the Judge is to make a determination of probable cause to detain and to also address pretrial forms of release – often referred to as bail or bond. If the case is a misdemeanor case, the person arrested may be able to enter a plea to the charge or charges at first appearance court.
Many times our law firm is contacted by a person just arrested, or friend or loved one of a person arrested, with news of the recent arrest. In this situation the person arrested or their family (or friend(s)) understandably have urgent questions regarding “what to do next.” It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is very familiar with the Court procedures conducted at first appearance. Fortunately, we have represented hundreds of individuals at first appearance and my services can be of considerable help to both the person recently arrested and the family of the person arrested.
One of the first things we will do is talk with the person arrested and explain to them what will happen when we both appear before the Judge at first appearance court. We find that talking with the person arrested (client) before first appearance court not only calms down the client but also gives the client’s friends and/or family members a piece of mind that help has started early in the case.
Then, depending on the given facts of the individual case, we will seek to have the client either released on his or her own recognizance (“ROR”) or have the bond reduced to a level that the client can afford. Factors essential to an “ROR” or simple bond reduction include, but are not limited to: the severity of the charge, the persons criminal history, the clients’ ties to the community, the client’s length of residence in the community, and whether the client has any prior “failure to appear(s)” in previous court proceedings.
We have the skill and experience of representing hundreds of clients at first appearance court to ensure complete and competent legal representation of you, your loved one, or your friend at first appearance court.