Why is a Court Appearance Required?

appearing in court before a judge

What Does Appear in Court Mean?

Court appearances remain a vital part of the court process, but most clients attempt to opt-out of them if they can. Standing in front of a judge can be terrifying, especially after charges have been filed. However, court appearances at every single court date remain extremely important.

When a person is ordered to appear in court, it means that they will need to present themselves before the judge. Often, even misdemeanor charges can require a moment in front of the judge. Most clients feel intimidated when they discover that they must appear in court, but it is important to understand that this is not a trial, it is merely a court appearance.

Do I Need A Lawyer for First Court Appearance?

No, most clients do not need an attorney for their first court appearance. It is important that individuals seek the advice of a personal representative before court if they can afford one, but it is not legally necessary.

What Happens with A First Appearance in Court?

This is also referred to as an arraignment or bail hearing. During this appearance, a person will be advised of the charges that have been brought up against them. They will be notified of information regarding their bail amount, or if they are not eligible for bail. During the arraignment, individuals will have the opportunity to request a court-appointed lawyer if they are not able to afford a private attorney.

Court Appearance to be Spoke to

This is a set date or can be referred to as a court appearance to be spoken to. Often, this court date is set for the judge to determine whether the accused has had time to obtain proper counsel or to speak to them regarding the case.

Can Your Lawyer Appear for You in Court?

Sometimes a lawyer can appear for a client in court. This depends on the charges. When a person is charged with a minor charge, it is common for a lawyer to appear for a client in court. If the charges are more serious, such as a felony, a lawyer is not able to appear in court in place of their client. If a client is eligible to have a lawyer appear on their behalf, they will be required to file a designation of counsel with the court. This will then give their counsel the ability to speak for them in court.

Court Appearance is Required

A mandatory court appearance means that the accused is required to appear in court before the judge. They often do not have the option of having a lawyer appear in their place in court. If a person does not appear, they will more than likely have to deal with the consequences for failure to appear. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Additional court fines
  • Fees
  • Mandatory jail time for failure to appear, which can be up to one year
  • Bond revocation
  • Bench warrant

Court Appearance Fee

A fee is often charged for the first appearance and is typically included in the total court costs. There are exceptions that require a person to pay this fee when they appear in court, however. The fee varies depending on the charge. More serious charges, such as felonies, often have a higher fee than minor offenses, such as traffic tickets.

Court Appearance and…

Proper preparation remains vital. Regardless of the charges a person faces, it is crucial that they make a good first impression. Find a lawyer if possible, to provide ample advice. Decide on a professional, appropriate outfit to wear. Baggy jeans and tennis shoes often do not make a good first impression. Individuals that have never been to court before are encouraged to practice deep breathing to calm their anxiety and to research appropriate conduct in a courtroom, such as never to interrupt the judge. Staying on a judge’s good side is never a bad idea.

court gavel

What is a Secured Appearance Bond?

A secured appearance bond means that a person must provide money or property for bail before they will be released. An unsecured bond means that a person simply signs a document stating that they will pay the money if the bond conditions are broke. These are also referred to as posting bail. Often, a secured bond is partially refundable. Property that is offered for bail is returned to the person when the conditions of bail are met.

Court appearances require knowledge pertaining to the details of what will happen when a person stands before the judge, what rights a person has, such as whether they are able to have a lawyer attend court on their behalf, and how to dress properly. It is a necessity that defendants take the time to properly prepare themselves before heading to their first court appearance. Call You Call Bail Bond Agency at 844-YOU-WALK today when you need bail bonds in Mt. Clemens and Troy, MI!