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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default What Exactly is a Pre-Arraignment

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    I thought it is required for the defendant to be there, or so says the bail bond agreement. Though, the lawyer says he doesn't need to appear.

    What are the rules with these pre-arraignment procedures?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: What Exactly is a Pre-Arraignment

    I would infer that you're talking about the defendant's first appearance.
    Quote Quoting Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 3.130. First Appearance
    (a) Prompt First Appearance. Except when previously released in a lawful manner, every arrested person shall be taken before a judicial officer, either in person or by electronic audiovisual device in the discretion of the court, within 24 hours of arrest. In the case of a child in the custody of juvenile authorities, against whom an information or indictment has been filed, the child shall be taken for a first appearance hearing within 24 hours of the filing of the information or indictment. The chief judge of the circuit for each county within the circuit shall designate 1 or more judicial officers from the circuit court, or county court, to be available for the first appearance and proceedings. The state attorney or an assistant state attorney and public defender or an assistant public defender shall attend the first appearance proceeding either in person or by other electronic means. First appearance hearings shall be held with adequate notice to the public defender and state attorney. An official record of the proceedings shall be maintained. If the defendant has retained counsel or expresses a desire to and is financially able, the attendance of the public defender or assistant public defender is not required at the first appearance, and the judge shall follow the procedure outlined in subdivision (c)(2).

    (b) Advice to Defendant. At the defendant’s first appearance the judge shall immediately inform the defendant of the charge and provide the defendant with a copy of the complaint. The judge shall also adequately advise the defendant that:
    (1) the defendant is not required to say anything, and that anything the defendant says may be used against him or her;

    (2) if unrepresented, that the defendant has a right to counsel, and, if financially unable to afford counsel, that counsel will be appointed; and

    (3) the defendant has a right to communicate with counsel, family, or friends, and if necessary, will be provided reasonable means to do so.
    (c) Counsel for Defendant.
    (1) Appointed Counsel. If practicable, the judge should determine prior to the first appearance whether the defendant is financially able to afford counsel and whether the defendant desires representation. When the judge determines that the defendant is entitled to court-appointed counsel and desires counsel, the judge shall immediately appoint counsel. This determination must be made and, if required, counsel appointed no later than the time of the first appearance and before any other proceedings at the first appearance. If necessary, counsel may be appointed for the limited purpose of representing the defendant only at first appearance or at subsequent proceedings before the judge.

    (2) Retained Counsel. When the defendant has employed counsel or is financially able and desires to employ counsel to represent him or her at first appearance, the judge shall allow the defendant a reasonable time to send for counsel and shall, if necessary, postpone the first appearance hearing for that purpose. The judge shall also, on request of the defendant, require an officer to communicate a message to such counsel as the defendant may name. The officer shall, with diligence and without cost to the defendant if the counsel is within the county, perform the duty. If the postponement will likely result in the continued incarceration of the defendant beyond a 24-hour period, at the request of the defendant the judge may appoint counsel to represent the defendant for the first appearance hearing.

    (3) Opportunity to Confer. No further steps in the proceedings should be taken until the defendant and counsel have had an adequate opportunity to confer, unless the defendant has intelligently waived the right to be represented by counsel.

    (4) Waiver of Counsel. The defendant may waive the right to counsel at first appearance. The waiver, containing an explanation of the right to counsel, shall be in writing and signed and dated by the defendant. This written waiver of counsel shall, in addition, contain a statement that it is limited to first appearance only and shall in no way be construed to be a waiver of counsel for subsequent proceedings.
    (d) Pretrial Release. The judicial officer shall proceed to determine conditions of release pursuant to rule 3.131.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: What Exactly is a Pre-Arraignment

    Thank you for all that. Ulimately, it worked out with the lawyer going.

    I'm looking at the docket and there have been changes added today - but none of it makes any sense to me.

    I'll admit, I know nothing about law and this is my first time ever having to learn about it. I just want to help a friend who is in this bind and is as clueless as I am. His overpaid lawyer doesn't seem to be answering the questions ... so, I'm begging for understanding.

    Here's a snippet of the docket - I have no idea what the top one means - any help? Who would've made a demand for discovery? Is there any way to tell from this? I wish I could get that lawyer on the phone....sigh.

    57 04/14/2010 REPORT RE: SOUNDING SET FOR 05/20/2010 AT 09:30
    56 04/14/2010 TRIAL HEARING SCHEDULED FOR 06/02/2010 AT 09:00
    55 04/13/2010 SET FOR TRIAL
    54 04/13/2010 DEMAND FOR NOTICE OF ALIBI
    53 04/13/2010 DISCOVERY
    52 04/12/2010 DEMAND FOR DISCOVERY
    51 04/12/2010 DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY
    50 04/12/2010 WRITTEN PLEA OF NOT GUILTY
    48 03/26/2010 BOND RECEIVED PS5055138

    Thanks again for any help.

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