initial appearance

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An initial appearance refers to a court hearing where a defendant is first brought before a judge, usually after being arrested or charged with a crime. During this hearing, the defendant is informed of the charges against them, and the judge may set bail, appoint an attorney, or schedule future court dates. The main purpose of an initial appearance is to ensure that the defendant understands the charges and their rights and to make sure that they have adequate representation in the legal process.

See also: Federal Rules of Criminal ProcedureTITLE II. PRELIMINARY PROCEEDINGSRule 5. Initial Appearance

[Last updated in February of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]