What happens at my first court appearance?
At the first court appearance, you will be told by the judge what your charges are. At that time, the judge will ask you if you can afford to hire your own attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, the judge will ask if you want to be referred to the Public Defender’s Office for representation. If you ask to be referred, there will be a legal assistant from our office in the courtroom who will meet with you to get some background information and to conduct a financial screening to see if you qualify for our services. If you do qualify, an attorney will represent you that day. If you are in custody, the attorney will be able to request that the judge reduce your bail or release you on your own recognizance. If your court date is in the Pittsburg courthouse for a felony offense, and you are not in custody, you may be asked to come back to court the following week and to come to our office for an interview before the next date.

Show All Answers

1. What should I do if I am arrested or I believe I am under suspicion in a police investigation?
2. What is a public defender?
3. What kinds of cases does the Office of Public Defender handle?
4. What will it cost to be represented by a public defender?
5. How do I get copies of my police reports?
6. What happens at my first court appearance?
7. Can I get a public defender to represent me in a civil, family law, or immigration case?