cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense

If you have already seen a judge in a Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, prosecution, you have already had your initial appearance. The judge has read the initial charge against you as stated in the complaint as well as the maximum and minimum penalties and entered a plea of not guilty, setting a preliminary hearing and tentative arraignment date pending the filing of the more formalized indictment, or, trial information. As a general rule, a defendant should really have a lawyer appear in the case by the preliminary hearing date and personally appear at the arraignment date unless provided written notification otherwise.

However, for that first initial appearance, a defendant who is given the opportunity to appear without being arrested in Iowa is usually asked to sign a promise to appear and delay of initial appearance by the law enforcement officer conducting an investigation. This document is also used if an arrestee bonds out before seeing a judge on “video court” at the Linn County Jail within 24 hours of arrest following execution of a warrant.

In Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, the delay of initial appearance allows the defendant to remain out of custody, e.g., out of jail, until he or she presents before the judge for the first time upon complaint. A defendant must appear for the court date on the delay of initial appearance unless his or her attorney notifies him otherwise. I notify clients in writing, whether by SMS message, email, or letter so that they can refer back and I specifically tell them that they may not assume a court date is cancelled unless they have that written clarification.

Generally speaking, the initial appearance is the starting gun to a criminal prosecution. It follows within 24 hours of arrest, or, in the alternative occurs on the date stated on the delay of the initial appearance. Preliminary hearing, arraignment, pretrial, final pretrial, and jury trial follow, if a defendant pursues a matter all the way to trial.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, or other Iowa community or counties, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889 for a free initial consultation today.

However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship. 

The initial appearance is the starting gun to a criminal prosecution. Generally speaking, the first court appearance for an arrestee is the initial appearance within 24 hours of arrest. 

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Cedar Rapids Criminal Lawyer: What is the Initial Appearance and Do I have to Attend?

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC