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​​​​Cedar Rapids Criminal Lawyer: Initial Appearance and What You Should Know

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC

The initial appearance is an arrestee’s first meeting with a judge following arrest. An initial appearance is to be conducted without “unnecessary delay,” defined by Iowa R. Crim. Pro. 2.1(2)(d) as any “unexcused delay” longer than 24 hours.


In Linn County, Iowa, initial appearances generally begin at 9:30 AM, for those arrested the previous day. However, it could be at any time the magistrate is available and willing within that 24 hours. This appearance is conducted in Linn County, Iowa, by way of a closed circuit television system on the first floor of the jail while the judge, prosecutor, and court attendant are in the courthouse.


At initial appearance, if an officer makes an arrest without a warrant, “a complaint shall be filed forthwith,” and the magistrate must make a finding, upon sworn affidavits or oral statement by the arresting officer, that probable cause to believe a public offense has occurred for “further proceedings” in the case to continue.


The defendant appears personally with or without an attorney and the magistrate is required to allow the defendant to consult with an attorney if present.


The magistrate informs the defendant of the right to retain or request court appointed counsel, conditions of pretrial release and the right to review same, and provides to the defendant a copy of the complaint.


The initial appearance is the first hurdle for the police and prosecutor to continue “further proceedings” against the defendant. But it is not the last. Preliminary hearings are scheduled (even if waived or cancelled because of the filing of an indictment) and indictment and arraignment are also required.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC.


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

First impression the initial appearance is an arrestee's first meeting with the magistrate, or, judge, without "unnecessary delay" following arrest-- usually within 24 hours. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, initial appearances usually begin at 9:30 AM, following the date of arrest, but they could be earlier or later as long as the delay is within 24 hours or otherwise "excusable," left undefined by the rules. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC  for a free initial consultation today at 319-389-1889.

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