Attorney Christian A. Straile, LLC
Available 24/7 | Hablo Espanol :

Just arrested, accused of a crime, now what? First Appearance and Arraignment

Arrests and the resulting criminal accusations happen every day. Common questions are how can they arrest when there are conflicting stories or can they arrest for whatever just happened. Unfortunately, that is the wrong question. If someone was just arrested, then the answer is yes the cops can and in fact they did just make that arrest. Now the accused has to defend themselves but the only place that happens is at a trial and that will not be for several months.

The confusing thing for people not accustomed to dealing with the system is what to do immediately after an arrest. Many times the quicker your defense team starts working on investigating and preserving evidence the better the case will turn out for the defendant. You should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

The first thing that happens after an arrest is that issues of pretrial release and bond are determined. There may be a bond schedule, otherwise the person just arrested has to go to "First Appearance". In Florida, First Appearance is the morning after arrest and the only thing determined is whether there is a bond and how much. Things considered by the court at First Appearance are ties to the community, criminal history and the accused's prior record of appearing in court. First appearance is not where you fight the case, it is only to determine pretrial release or bond.

The next court date is the "Arraignment". The Arraignment is to formally advise a person as to the charges filed so that the accused can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. This is also not where you fight the case. The only thing the judge wants to hear is guilty, not guilty, or no contest. A lawyer can have the Defendant's presence waived or excused meaning a person represented by a lawyer may not have to waste a day in court. A person who pleads guilty or no contest may be sentenced immediately or on another day. A person who pleads not guilty will have a chance to review the evidence against them and to have a trial at a later date. Only after the entry of a not guilty plea will the court actually set the case for trial. Trial is where defenses can be presented.

The arrest of a loved one creates a lot of questions. The best way to have questions answered is to hire an experienced criminal attorney. The judge cannot give legal advice, the prosecutors represent the state not the accused, and a public defender may not be assigned until after arraignment which can be several weeks after an arrest and after evidence is already lost. Please click or call to hire a criminal defense lawyer.

Gainesville 352-371-9141

Ocala 352-694-4529

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response
Firm Logo Small

Learn How I Can Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Gainesville Office
1031 NW 6th Street
Unit A-2
Gainesville, FL 32601

Phone: 352-371-9141
Fax: 352-371-9142
Map & Directions

Mailing Address
PO Box 5355
Gainesville, FL 32627

Phone: 352-371-9141

Ocala Office
108 N. Magnolia Avenue
Suite 501
Ocala, FL 34475

Phone: 352-694-4529
Map & Directions

  • Location
    Mailing Address
  • Location
    Gainesville Office
  • Location
    OCALA - By Appointment