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First Court Appearance in Chantilly

In Chantilly, an individual’s first court appearance will determine a variety of case factors. Not only does this appearance allow the judge to establish a first impression of the individual, it sets a possible bond in motion.

For this reason, it is crucial to have an attorney by your side to help guide you through this initial process and ensure you are best prepared to face the judge in court. An experienced lawyer can assist in providing a strong defense, and is an essential asset in terms of processing a case efficiently, and attentively.

What To Expect

An initial appearance, or arraignment, in Chantilly is synonymous with an initial appearance at the Fairfax County Courthouse. At the arraignment, the judge will state what the person is charged with and ask the person whether or not they would like an attorney. If the person is still being held at that point, the judge may either have a bond motion or set for a bond motion, depending on the facts of the case and whether or not the person wants an attorney. At the initial appearance, the individual will say whether or not they are trying to call for an attorney. From that point forward, they will either have an attorney appointed to them or hire an attorney before their case.

Usually, the first court appearance in Chantilly will take place within a few days of the actual arrest, at the very longest, a week. The initial appearance is attended by the judge and the defendant only. If the defendant has an attorney, they will sometimes appear. However, an attorney will usually waive this initial appearance. The judge presiding over the arraignment can be the judge presiding over the individual’s case, but this is not necessarily the case.

The Court Date

If an individual is looking for information on their court date, they can find it online on the Virginia Court’s website. Here, an individual can search their last name, and they will be shown the date of their first court appearance in Chantilly. This date will be shown for most general district courts and some circuit courts. It depends on the county.

There are specific circumstances where an individual can change their court date. This will normally depend on the county, how many times the date has been changed previously, and various other similar considerations. The more times a person asks for a continuance, the less likely it is to be granted. It will mostly depend on factors such as the availability of the officer and the facts of the case.

If the charge is a misdemeanor, it is less likely to be continued. This is due to issues with the prosecution. The longer a court date is pushed, the less likely that authorities will be able to prosecute it – incentivizing a quicker court date. The grant to continue a court case is entirely dependent on the judge.

Bond

A bond is an amount of money that an individual pays to the court to guarantee that the defendant will return to the court for their court date. Sometimes, the bond can be unsecured, which means that no money needs to be put down. For example, if an individual has no criminal record but was charged with a slightly serious offense, they will probably be given a high unsecured bond. This individual will then not have to pay anything unless they do not appear in court.

If there is a secured bond, it means that some type of money needs to be put down in order to have the person released on bail. The bond could require a large sum of money, in which a bail bond’s man might be employed in order to secure a part of that money. In Chantilly, the specifications of an individual’s bond will always be determined at the first court appearance.

Determination of Bond Amount

The bond amount is determined by a number of things: a person’s criminal record, the facts of the specific case including whether or not there was any violence involved, whether the person is deemed a risk to the community in the meantime, or is a flight risk. Further questions that will be asked when determining the bond amount include:

  • Is the person’s primary residence in another county or state?
  • Is the person a US citizen?
  • Has the person missed court dates in the past?
  • Are there failures to appear on record?

All of these things are taken into consideration by the judge at an individual’s first court appearance in Chantilly. When an amount is determined, bonds can be posted in Chantilly either through a bail bond’s man or by making a payment directly at the magistrate’s office. When being released from jail, a person will receive their bond information and a copy of their warrant or summons, depending on what type of case it is.

Filing a Plea

A lawyer will not file a plea of not guilty. On the date of trial, an individual will be asked whether they are pleading guilty, not guilty, or no contest, but a lawyer will never file a not guilty plea for their client.