First Appearance

If a suspect is arrested and held in jail, they are entitled to a hearing before a judge within 72 hours of arrest called a First Appearance. This appearance determines if the defendant is released or if they have to post a bond. The charges will be read to the defendant, he/she will be advised of his/her rights, and appointed an attorney if needed. No plea will be entered. Unless it is a capital offense, no defendant can be held without bond while pending trial. Other conditions of release, such as no contact with the victim, can be addressed.