Do I have to Appear in Court if I have a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney?

Our clients lead busy lives and with work, school, and social obligations. It is difficult for them to clear up the day they are required to appear before the Criminal Judge. Fortunately, once they have retained us as counsel, we can make all appearances on behalf of our clients as long as their case meets certain requirements.

If their case is a misdemeanor we are able to appear on their 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 driving under the influence of alcohol. 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 theschance to appear in Court, then you always have the option to do so. Many times the hearing takes a minimal amount of time and the information relayed to the attorney can easily be relayed to you after the appearance. 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.

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 that you will have to appear before the Judge to remove. In addition, when you appear in Court without an attorney, you will be required to wait along with all other people who are waiting to see the Judge. The process can take up to a couple hours depending on the courtroom and the 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.