Collin, Dallas or Denton County, Texas DWI Lawyer: First Appearance, Announcements, Plea Settings, and Pre-Trial Dates
The courts title settings (dates you are required to attend court) as: first appearances, announcements, plea setting, and pre-trial dates.
First Appearance– the “first appearance” is the first setting that an accused citizen must attend. At the first appearance, the court and the district attorney is informed whether you are represented by counsel. As your attorney, I will then visit with the prosecutor and learn more about your case, request a copy of the police report and drop off a video to get a copy of the video of your arrest and/or breath test. It usually takes the district attorney’s office a month to send all the information to my office.
Announcement Settings–Depending on the court, there will be 2 or more announcements. The purpose of the announcement settings is to inform the court whether we are ready to set your case for a trial or a plea. Your presence at these setting may or may not be required depending on which court your case is assigned.
Plea Settings-If you decide to plead guilty in your case, the court will assign you a plea setting. At this setting, you and I will stand before the judge and enter you plea. After that, you will make arraignments to pay any fine or court costs and meet with the probation department or make arraignments to serve out your sentence. No matter what they are called, these announcements are simply court settings, where I will have the opportunity to visit with the prosecutor and learn more about your case. I will speak with the District Attorney handling your case, get a look at a police report and drop off a video to get a copy of the video of your arrest and/or breath test.
Pre-Trial Setting-The pre-trial setting is usually held the Thursday before your trial date. At this setting, the judge will inform us whether or not your case will be reached on trial date. If it is reached, you will be required to show-up on the trial date. If it is not reached, your case will be reset. It is important to remember that there are other trials set the same day as yours. The oldest trial usually will be tried first.
Length between settings-Depending on the court, there is usually two weeks to one month between each of the above settings Are you Required to Attend the setting— I will attend ALL of these court settings. Occasionally, though, I will have a conflict where I cannot attend, I may have another attorney cover the setting. Depending on the county and the judge, you may or may not have to attend these settings. In general, you do nothing at these hearings except to show up and prove you haven’t fled the country.