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Indiana Criminal Defense: Initial Hearings

Monday, May 24, 2021

Criminal Defense: What is an Initial Hearing?

When an individual is charged and arrested for a criminal offense they will be brought in front of the Court to be advised of those charges and of their rights. If the individual is in custody this hearing is generally done within 48 hours. If the individual has posted bond or was released upon their own recognizance then it will be scheduled within 20 days of the arrest. See Ind. Code §35-33-7-1.

Criminal Defense: What Happens at an Initial Hearing?

At the initial hearing the court will inform you of the charges against you and will also advise you of your rights. The court will ask you of your intent to hire a criminal defense attorney and will advise that you have a right to have an criminal defense attorney appointed to you if you cannot afford an attorney. If you cannot hire a criminal defense attorney the court will ask questions to see if you qualify to have a public defender appointed. If you do get a public defender appointed you are still able to hire different counsel in the future if you are able to do so. Our attorneys provide Wabash County Criminal Defense and Kosciusko County Criminal Defense. We have been hired at all stages in criminal proceedings.

If you show a desire to have a criminal defense attorney the court may enter a “not guilty plea” on your behalf at the initial hearing. If the judge does ask you how you would like to plead, generally it is not a good idea to plead “guilty” at the initial hearing. It is important to have a criminal defense attorney evaluate your case and advise you before a guilty plea should be entered. Entering a “not guilty” plea at the initial hearing will not hurt your case and will not affect your ability to enter a guilty plea at a later date.

Criminal Defense: Is Bond/Bail addressed at the Initial Hearing?

If bond is already set and someone is able/willing to post that for you, you may be released before your initial hearing is scheduled. However, if bond is not yet set or no one has posted bond before the initial hearing, you may still be in custody when you are brought before a judge for the initial hearing.

It is here, at the initial hearing, that the judge will first address the issue of bond/bail. Bond/Bail is generally set as a surety amount or a cash amount. This is a sum of money that must be put up as a promise to return for future court dates. A judge does not have to grant bail; he can hold you in jail until your next court date if he believes you are a flight risk or a danger to yourself or the community. It is important to have a criminal defense attorney look over your circumstances to see what level of bond may be appropriate.

Wabash Criminal Defense Attorney – Warsaw Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a criminal offense it is important to get representation. The criminal defense attorneys at Vanderpool Law Firm have the knowledge and experience to evaluate your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. We provide personal and professional representation to all of our clients. Call us today if you need help with a criminal offense in Wabash, Kosciusko, or the surrounding counties.