Although you do not need to be represented by a lawyer during your post-arrest criminal proceedings, it is in your best interest to hire a Sugar Land criminal lawyer who can protect your legal rights and answer any questions you may have.
What Is an Initial Court Appearance?
An initial court appearance will be your first proceeding in front of a judge. During this appearance, the judge will assess the evidence against you to determine whether there was in fact sufficient probable cause for your arrest and continued holding.
The judge will also inform you of your rights, including:
- Your right to hire a lawyer, if you have not already retained a Sugar Land criminal lawyer
- Your right to hear the criminal charges against you
- Your right to a preliminary hearing
- Your right not to speak
- Your right to secure pretrial release
Initial Appearance v. Arraignment
An arraignment is a formal proceeding at which you appear before a judge to answer the criminal charges brought against you. At this point, you will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contender. It is imperative that you attend the arraignment with your Sugar Land criminal lawyer.
However, the purpose of the initial court appearance is for the judge to simply inform you of your rights and the charges brought against you. Many prosecutors and defense attorney do not usually attend the initial appearance of their clients.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime, you should contact Sugar Land criminal lawyer John Venza at 281-971-5660.