What Can I Expect On My First Criminal Court Appearance
The first appearance is your criminal lawyer's opportunity to file notice of representation and start to collect discovery. Your case will be set to another date and the most difficult thing you will have to face on your first appearance is signing a reset form.
You should expect more than one uneventful appearance in criminal court. Your criminal lawyer will need to accumulate the evidence in the possession of the prosecutors and investigate your defenses. Motions may have to be filed if there are disagreements about the discovery provided or your criminal lawyer believes that certain evidence should be suppressed.
Arraignment in Federal Court
When a Federal Magistrate arraigns a defendant, he simply informs him of what he has been charged and the potential range of punishment. The Magistrate will ask the accused how he pleads to the charge, but this is just a formality. For various reasons, nobody can successfully plead guilty at an arraignment in Federal Court. The Magistrate will note a Not-Guilty plea and issue a docket control order, assigning the case to a District Court.