First Court Date:
On the first court date in a DUI or criminal case several events happen. First, your attorney will file an Appearance. You may have an arraignment. Further your attorney will enter a plea of not guilty and request discovery. Lastly, the case will be continued for further proceedings.
What is an Appearance?
An “Appearance” is a formal way your attorney will notify the court that he is representing you. The attorney fills out a paper form entitled “Appearance,” and asks the court to allow him to file it. Once it is filed, the attorney cannot leave the case without permission from the Judge.
Here is where the judge will read to you the charges against you and ask you (or your attorney) how you want to plead. There are two choices: either “guilty” or “not guilty.”
What is Discovery?
Discovery is the evidence in a case. It will contain police reports and arrest reports. Moreover, it will have any physical evidence, such as a weapon. Furthermore, discovery will include any video evidence. Lastly, it will include any written statements from witnesses or the defendant.
Next, your attorney will ask the court for another court date in order to review the Discovery and determine if pretrial motions are necessary. There are motions that you attorney can file that seek to have the case dismissed (thrown out of court). A court might throw a case out if your attorney can prove that the police officer did not follow the law in arresting you. Once your attorney reviews all of the discovery, he can make a decision about the best way to proceed with the case. Your attorney should also explain in detail why he or she wants to file a motion or why he or she does not.