What is the purpose?
A first appearance is for two primary things: 1. Determining Probable Cause Exists for the Crime you were arrested for, and 2. Ensuring that the bond is reasonably calculated to ensure the Defendant will show up for future court dates, to protect society from future harm, and to maintain judicial integrity. A Criminal Justice Lawyer Orlando can argue both points at first appearance:
Probable Cause: Probable Cause is a very low standard. Many people who are first arrested are staggered by how easy it is to be put in jail for an alleged criminal act, despite only very little evidence against them. The standard is often looked at as “more likely than not” standard.
In other words, it’s more likely that the crime occurred than it didn’t occur. At your first appearance the lawyers and the court are constrained by the four corners of the arrest affidavit and/or the warrant. In other words outside evidence cannot be used to prove or disprove probable cause for purposes of a first appearance.
Reasonable Bond: Every criminal offense has a corresponding bond schedule. These are the de facto bond amounts that are preset and used before a person even makes it to court. They are the amounts that are presumed reasonable for the given charge. At a first appearance your lawyer can make arguments for why the bond is too high, such as a lack of funds, or the facts of the offense are not egregious, or the person has a family at home and is not a flight risk.
When is the first appearance after you are arrested?
According to 907.041 Florida Statutes state that a person shall be taken before a judicial officer for a first appearance within 24 hours of arrest. Traditionally first appearance means that if you are arrested that night you will be before the judge in the morning or the following afternoon. Make sure your Criminal Justice Lawyer Orlando is there for you at your first appearance so the appropriate arguments can be made at that first appearance, rather than waiting weeks for your issues to be heard.
A meaningful hearing?
The First Appearance an often resemble assembly line justice resembling a row of inmates that quickly come and go before the judge. The words “I find probable cause, your bond is set at such and such, and next person” are often heard quickly and often if you were to watch a first appearance live.
It is important to hire your lawyer before first appearance because an individualized argument before the judge with a lawyer who is there ONLY FOR YOU will usually help your chances for a bond reduction at first appearance. If a bond reduction is not made at a first appearance, getting back into Court for a bond reduction at a later time can take weeks.
If you have any questions about your case or a first appearance call a Criminal Justice Lawyer Orlando. At Smith & Eulo we believe in a personalized approach with quality communication throughout. Give us a call at 407-930-8912
Criminal Justice Lawyer Orlando
When it comes to your DUI or car accident case, you’ll need a good criminal justice attorney to help you through the process. Smith and Eulo are the trusted attorneys in Orlando that are guaranteed to give you the personalized attention and care that you need.
We will give you a free consultation to discuss unique solutions for your individual situation, including the discussing of insurance claims, additional damages, and more. Our law firm has handled hundreds of similar car accident cases and found the optimal solution to settle before the cases went to trial. Let us help you find the ideal solution for you.
Give us a call at 407-930-8912 to find out how we can help you.
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