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What Happens at First Appearance in a Federal Criminal Case?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | May 23, 2023

If you or a loved one has been recently arrested and the United States Marshals are taking them to court in the afternoon, you want to get an attorney immediately.

First Appearance in a Federal Criminal Case

I say this because bail will be set for your loved one, and in federal criminal cases, your loved one can be detained, which means they can't get out and will stay in custody until their case is over. So if you don't want that, you want to get somebody there to fight.

What I'll do is contact the probation department.  We'll set up an interview so that you, as a loved one, can meet with the probation department, and they can report for the court assessment:

  • Whether or not your loved one is a flight risk, and
  • Whether or not there are bond conditions that they can be released on.

That report is compelling, and if it's favorable to the defense, it can be used to our advantage.

Released on Bail?

In addition to talking to you and any other loved ones that have property assets are willing to sign a signature bond for that person that was arrested. 

They will also talk to the person and get information from them.  So, we want to get out there as soon as possible to speak to your loved one so we can get their head straight.

We need to ensure that they handle the interview with probation the right way so they can be in the best position when it comes time to argue that they should be released on some bail conditions. 

Status Conference

Another thing that will be done, especially in the Central District of Los Angeles, where I do many cases, is they will assign you a judge, and that judge will have a specific protocol.  There's going to be a status conference. 

A jury trial will be set, and the prosecutor will typically be involved but have prosecutors handling all the cases. 

Sometimes that prosecutor is coordinating with the actual prosecutor who will be assigned to your case.  So, you want your defense attorney in on that to ensure that you have the best possible result and that we maneuver the case correctly.

So, if you or a loved one is charged with a federal crime, hire a lawyer immediately.  I've been doing this now for 30 years.  I've been all over the country.  If you need the best, you've come to the right place. 

Pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  We offer a free case evaluation by phone or using the contact form. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.