After an individual has been arrested for a crime, he or she will be required to appear before a judge. This usually takes place within 48 hours of the arrest but may take longer if the defendant is arrested on the weekend or on a holiday.
This is an important step in the criminal process, as it is the first time an individual will appear before a judge and hear what he or she is being charged with, in a formal setting. If you have been arrested for a crime, it would be in your best interest to contact a Dallas criminal defense lawyer before your first appearance.
First Appearance Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
First Appearance in Texas
At the first appearance, the defendant will appear before a judge for the first time during the criminal process. The court will establish the defendant’s identity for the record, and advise the defendant on his or her legal rights. The judge will also notify the defendant of the charges against him or her, and ask the defendant to enter a plea.
The defendant can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If a guilty or no contest plea is entered, the case will be moved to the sentencing phase of the criminal process. If the defendant pleads not guilty, his or her case will go to trial.
Court Appointed Defense Attorney in Texas
During this time, the judge will also make note of who your defense attorney is. If you do not have an attorney, and can’t afford one, the judge will appoint a defense attorney to represent you. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 26.04(d), each court-appointed lawyer must the following criteria in order to be able to represent a client:
- Must have applied to be on the list of potential court-appointed attorneys
- Must be approved by a majority of the judges who establish the list
- Must meet qualifications set forth by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission
- Must meet the objective qualifications specified by the judges in the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 2604(e)
Although court-appointed lawyers are free, you do not have the right to choose which one is assigned to your case. In order to give yourself the best chance at trial, it is important that you seek adequate legal representation.
By hiring your own attorney, you can ensure that you have someone on your side that will listen to your concerns, and build a defense that is designed to achieve your desired outcome.
Find a Defense Lawyer for your First Appearance | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today if you are facing criminal charges in Dallas County in Texas or the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, and Tarrant County. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal lawyer who will make every effort to find mitigating factors that may have your charges reduced or even dismissed.