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Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

FIRST APPEARANCE


If you are arrest and booked into jail, within 24 hours the Court holds a hearing call the "First Appearance Hearing." The judge will first advise you of the charges(s) for which you have been been arrested. The judge will then decide if the police had probable cause for your arrest. The judge will ask you if you wish to be represented by an attorney, and if so whether you can afford to hire private counsel. If you are financially unable to hire your own counsel, the judge will decide if you qualifies for a court appointed lawyer. At this hearing the judge also hears facts and decides whether a bond amount should be set and if so, how much. If the defendant is able to post the bond amount, he or she may be released pending trial. Our Constitution guarantees the right to release on reasonable bond, before conviction. Frequently, the Judge will include a special condition ordering the Defendant not to have contact with the victim.