Do I have to Appear in Court if I have a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney?

  • September 1, 2017

    No one goes out assuming they will be arrested and charged with a crime, so most people find that it’s difficult and inconvenient to appear in court when this happens. They have a life. They have jobs, kids, carpool, sports practices, and many other obligations that make showing up in court several times over the course of their legal issues difficult. One of the most commonly asked questions from people in San Diego arrested and charged with a crime is whether they are legally required to appear in court when they have a hearing if they have an attorney present.

    Must I appear in court if I have a criminal defense attorney?

    Maybe not is the best answer to this question. It all depends on the kind of arrest made, what kind of charges are being filed against you, and what you did. For example, if you are charged with a misdemeanor crime, you are not required to show up in court if your attorney is there on your behalf. a misdemeanor crime means many things in many cases, but it typically means the crime was not serious, not too expensive, and it probably means you’ve never been in trouble with the law before. What the specifics of the crime are in your case is unknown without access to your files, but misdemeanor charges do not require a personal appearance.

    If you are charged with a felony, this all changes. If you are charged with any crime considered a felony, you are required to show up for your hearings each time. It doesn’t matter if you have an attorney or not, you must be there when you have a hearing.

    There is also no law that states you must hire an attorney or that you can’t show up even when you’re not required. If you’d like to be in court with your attorney during your misdemeanor hearing, you have the right to be there. You are not required to stay home or hire an attorney.

    What if I don’t hire an attorney?

    You are legally within your rights to forgo hiring an attorney. Attorneys are expensive, and you needn’t hire one if you don’t want one. You are entitled to free representation in the form of a public defender offered to you by the police when you are arrested. If you choose to forgo an attorney, you must appear in court on your own behalf regardless of the charges filed against you.

    Since you are not an attorney, the process takes a long time when you do appear in court. While having an attorney present makes the process faster, not having one present makes it much slower. You’re required to wait in a line. Each person is then called to the judge individually, and you are not permitted to leave until you are called. This often takes an entire day, which is just one of the many reasons hiring an attorney is a beneficial concept.

    Call a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

    The best thing you can do for yourself is make a call to an attorney the moment you are placed under arrest. Your attorney can advise you how to handle yourself, what to say, who to say it to, and what to do. You never want to be in a situation in which you aren’t without an attorney if you’re not familiar with the law. This is not to say you cannot defend yourself, but your chances of a successful trial and outcome are better when someone knows the law and works for you.

    Criminal arrests are complicated arrests with various factors. If you’ve been arrested before, you could face a felony charge. If you hurt someone, the consequences become worse. If you chose not to take the blood alcohol test in a DUI arrest, you put yourself at risk for looking even worse to a jury when you go to trial. An attorney can help if you let them, and they can even find loopholes in your case that might allow you to avoid conviction altogether. Call an attorney if you’ve been arrested for a crime in California.

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