When you are arrested in Northeast Florida, your criminal case begins. If you enter a plea of “not guilty” or bond out of jail, you will get a future court date. When you hire a private criminal attorney in Florida, that lawyer can get you to sign a piece of paper called a “Waiver of Appearance”. That will allow the lawyer to waive your appearance at pretrial conferences, which are the court dates when your case is “passed” for your criminal attorney to complete the discovery process.
You will have to be present at certain court dates, such as motion hearings, jury selection, trial, and any disposition. Many of our clients ask whether or not it makes a difference to the judge if they go to the court dates when they don’t have to. Usually the judge will not even think twice about a defendant not being present in court if their appearance is waived. If we as Jacksonville criminal attorneys feel that the client should be in court, we tell them.