What to Expect After a Citation or Arrest
If you retain an attorney prior to that hearing, the attorney may be able to file a written plea of not guilty and you may not have to appear at that hearing. Instead, the first appearance you would have to be present for would be a pre-trial hearing set by the court for a later date.
After the bond amount is set by the judge and that bond is posted, the individual charged with the crime is released. Sometimes, the individual will have to comply with pre-trial services or the 24/7 testing program by calling in on a daily basis to check in.
The rules of evidence do not apply at a preliminary hearing and therefore the necessary witnesses may not even testify at the hearing.
Sometimes a judge will order a pre-sentence investigation to get further information about the person pleading - their family history, school history, work history, and criminal history. The PSI will also have the circumstances that lead to the defendant pleading guilty or no contest.
Also, a defendant charged may wish to waive their right to a jury trial and instead have a bench trial where the judge hears all the evidence and makes the determination of guilt or innocence.
If that time has already passed, an individual convicted of a crime may have the ability to file for “post-conviction relief” as outlined in federal or state law.