Whether you have a criminal court appearance in the first month after arrest depends on your county. If you are in custody, then you will definitely have an appearance within the first month – usually within the first 48-72 hours. At your first appearance on a felony matter you’ll likely have your preliminary hearing set within 10 days unless you waive your right to a speedy trial. If it’s a felony, and you are in custody, then you will likely have court multiple times within the first 30 days. If your case is a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor DUI, where you were cited and released or taken into custody and released 10 to 12 hours later – you would have received a notice to appear. The notice to appear is usually for a date 30 to 45 days in the future.
Many times people will show up to court on their Notice To Appear date, and no charges have been filed at that time. What that means is that the DA has not filed charges yet. They have until the statute of limitations expires to file charges – this is usually a year for misdemeanors and three years for most felonies (sometimes longer depending on the charges). You will be released from custody and then you can expect to receive a notice in the mail that charges have been filed and to appear in court or an arrest warrant will be issued. The notice that charges are involved can come at any time in between the discovery of that crime and the date the statute of limitations expires. We know that it can be anxiety inducing to sit around and wonder what’s happening with your case and whether you are still being investigated so our office offers a service where we will track and monitor the case for you on a weekly basis. We give our clients immediate notice if charges do get filed and make arrangements to appear at their first court date. We also inform the clients if the DA has decided to reject the case and forego charging due to insufficient evidence or in the interest of justice. It is far better to have an attorney checking in on this than waiting for something to arrive in the mail or police to arrive at your doorstep – we offer our clients a peace of mind during the process.