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Will I Have a Criminal Court Appearance in The First Month After an Arrest?

The Law Office Phillips & Allen PA Nov. 20, 2022

Not every defendant will have a Court appearance within the first month after arrest; it depends on the particular circumstances of the case. You may be brought before a commissioner to set bail; you may be brought before a judge to set bail; in a felony case, if you make the required formal request for a preliminary hearing within ten days, you may have a preliminary hearing scheduled within a month of arrest. Trials are generally scheduled more than thirty days out from an arrest. In a Circuit Court case, there may be an initial appearance scheduled within a month of arrest (this is critical because certain preliminary defenses must be raised by motion soon thereafter and certain discovery issues must be raised timely as well. If a Defendant has an initial appearance scheduled in Circuit Court, the charges will be read, and the Defendant will be advised of their rights to an attorney. This is done for a reason, if a Defendant does not yet have an attorney representing them, the Defendant should obtain an attorney immediately.

How Often Should I Expect To Meet With My Attorney In The First Month After An Arrest?

Again, this depends on the circumstances of the case. Ideally, we prefer to meet immediately. We will extend a considerable amount of flexibility in our schedule if need be (after hours or on weekends) However, it is not always possible, for example: if a Defendant resides a substantial distance from the jurisdiction where the case is set, it may not be feasible for them to travel back to western Maryland. Many clients retain us initially over the phone, and we exchange documents and arrange payment by mail or electronically. As Attorneys, an in person meeting helps us gauge whether the client would make a good witness; for some clients, there is an issue of comfort for them to meet with us to confirm that we present ourselves well (for the record, we do). How often we meet with clients as the case progresses also depends on the particular circumstances. At the early stage, we need to know the client’s recollection of events, the identity of potential witness, a client’s general circumstances, needs and goals, and we need to counsel clients on what they should do and what not to do. Subsequently, one can expect communication either by phone, email, or in person, in regards to any material development in the case, for example: scheduling, discovery, trial preparation, negotiations with the State’s Attorney(s), and/or a client’s personal issue(s) that may impact their case.

Will I Have To Meet With A Pre-Trial Probation Officer In The First Month After An Arrest?

It depends on the terms of pretrial release. Requiring supervised pretrial probation is generally reserved for cases involving serious crimes with aggravating circumstances. Most pretrial release requirements are not monitored by a probation officer.

Is Pre-Trial Counseling Or Treatment Advisable In A Criminal Case?

First, does the Defendant need and/or want counseling or treatment? If there is a problem for which a Defendant needs/or wants counseling or treatment, there are resources available through the health department or private providers. Second, we generally reserve our recommendation as to whether to disclose counseling and/or treatment until we receive discovery from the State. Most, but not all, counseling or treatment is privileged such that the ultimate decision to disclose rests with our client. That being said, we only advise disclosure if we think it will help a client’s case.

What Advice Would You Give To Someone Who Recently Was Arrested?

Envoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent, and exercise your sixth amendment right to an attorney, and retain an attorney as soon as possible.

For more information on Court Appearance In The 1st Month, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking talk Arnold F. Phillips by calling today.