Do I need to show up to all my court hearings?
The simple answer is NO your attendance is not required at all court hearings.
Many factors weigh into attendance at court hearings and it depends on the type of hearing and whether your attorney has taken the necessary steps to exercise your rights. If you are scheduled for an Arraignment it is not necessary for you to attend court, if and only if, your attorney has filed a written plea on your behalf. At Mike G Law, Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Celso Gonzalez will file a Written Plea of Not Guilty on your behalf within minutes of being hired. This guarantees that you do not have to attend your Arraignment Hearing. Additionally, Mike G Law will have you sign a Waiver of Appearance at Pretrial so that you do not need to miss time at work or school or otherwise interrupt your life to show up in court when it is not necessary. At Mike G Law we do everything in our power to minimize the impact of an arrest and criminal charge on your life. Sometimes we can handle a case where the client never even has to step into the courthouse. At Mike G Law we don’t just know the law we enforce it to the full extent possible to protect our clients.
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.180 and 3.220(p)(1) specifically authorize an attorney to waive your appearance in court. Rule 3.180 Provides as follows:
(b) Presence; Definition. A defendant is present for purposes of this rule if the defendant is physically in attendance for the courtroom proceeding, and has a meaningful opportunity to be heard through counsel on the issues being discussed.
Rule 3.220(o)(1) provides as follows:
(o) Pretrial Conference.
(1) The trial court may hold 1 or more pretrial conferences, with trial counsel present, to consider such matters as will promote a fair and expeditious trial. The defendant shall be present unless the defendant waives this in writing.
Some judges and prosecutors are not even aware or do not care that the law guarantees Defendants the right to waive their appearance and attempt to seek to require the Defendant’s presence in court as an intimidation tactic. Judges and prosecutors sometimes want to feel in control and will try to circumvent the very important rights the Defendants have to be treated fairly. Mike G Law will pledges to protect your rights aggressively and without fear.