Do I have to Appear in Court if I have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney?

Our clients lead busy lives and with work, school, and social obligations. It is often stressful and proves to be difficult for them to clear up the day they are required to appear before the Criminal Judge. Fortunately, once they have retained an Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, they are not required by the law to appear in Court. The attorney can appear on their behalf.

It is different for cases that are misdemeanors and for felonies. If the case is a misdemeanor an attorney is able to appear on the person’s behalf without them having to be present. If the case is a felony, the criminal system requires that the person being charged must always appear.

For example, David has been charged with domestic violence. He was stopped on a routine DUI, with nothing out of the ordinary. He did not hit a person or an object, he did not damage any personal property and it was his first DUI. Due to the facts of his case David’s case will be a misdemeanor and a San Diego DUI Attorney will be able to make the appearances on his behalf.

In contrast, Daniel has also been charged with a DUI. However, it is Daniel’s second DUI, and he was stopped on suspicion of a DUI because he hit another vehicle and caused the other driver injury. Because there was an injury due to Daniel’s actions, his case will be charged as a felony DUI. It will be mandatory that Daniel appear at each of his criminal court appearances.

If you have hired a legal professional but would like the chance to appear in Court, then you always have the option to do so. Many times the hearing involves some wait time. It is likely that the criminal defense specialist has to speak to the Prosecutor, review evidence and make his argument. If there is no negotiation, the attorney may want to appear before the Judge, or he may want to continue the hearing to gather more evidence. It is one of the benefits of hiring an attorney, that you do not have to appear in Court and miss a day of work, especially to wait while the attorney does his work. The attorney will always be able to update you on what has happened when he returns to the office from court.

If you do not have an attorney, you must appear in court on any scheduled date. Failing to do so can result in a bench warrant, which is a separate criminal charge. You will have to appear in front of the Judge separately on the charge to have it dismissed or reduces.

In addition, when you appear in Court without an attorney, you will be required to wait in line for the court to call each person. The process can be quite lengthy and eat up your entire day.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney. Not only does hiring an attorney assure that you are guided throughout the entire process, it makes sure that you are making decisions that are in your best interest. Most of all, it saves you the hassle and frustration of appearing in court by yourself.