Frank, Juengel & Radefeld, Attorneys at Law
Local: 314-282-8657
Toll Free: 800-748-2105

What happens at the first hearing after charges are filed?

You have been charged with a crime. However, it is your first run-in with the law. What happens next? What are your options? If you do not understand the criminal justice process, it may help to read on. It all begins with the first appearance.

The very first hearing is an arraignment. You will appear before a judge who will state, to you and the open court, the nature of your charges or indictment. Thereafter, you will have an opportunity to make your plea. In the State of Missouri, those options are the following: not guilty, guilty, not guilty due to mental disease or defect or a combination of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Accepting the plea and determining representation

Before the court can accept your plea, it must make sure that you understand the charges. The court will also ensure you are made aware of any mandatory minimums and potential sentences associated with the charge.

Additionally, if you have not obtained an attorney, the judge will let you know that you are entitled to representation. The court will also advise you of your right to remain silent and to a court-appointed attorney, if you are unable to afford one.

If you plead guilty, a trial will not be necessary. Pleading guilty means you have waived your right to a trial. If you choose to plead not guilty, the judge will set hearing and trial dates, and you will get to indicate your preference for a jury trial, if applicable.

Will I get bail?

After accepting a not guilty plea, the court will determine if you can be released on bail until the end of trial. In granting release, the court will consider how likely you are to appear at hearings, trial and/or sentencing.

In some instances, the court may place some restrictions upon your release, including but not limited to: placing you with someone who can supervise your whereabouts, restricting travel, requiring a bond be paid and/or reporting to an officer of the court.

Once the arraignment has concluded, other procedures will depend on the severity of the crime and assertions made at the first appearance. If you have additional questions, speaking with an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense is one of the best ways to feel secure through the process.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
AV Preeminent The National Trial Lawyers Super Lawyers Top 50 Avvo Rating Avvo Rating 10
The Bar Association Of Metropolitan St Louis Illinois State Bar Association St Louis Business Journal National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers The Missouri Bar
St Louis County Bar Association Up Coming Missouri Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers Super Lawyers | Matthew Alan Radefeld | 10 years Super Lawyers | Daniel A. Juengel | 5 years
Contact us for a consultation

Ready To Protect Your Rights

We invite you to make an appointment with us to discuss your legal needs. You can reach us online or by calling us at 314-282-8657.

We provide representation in Missouri, Illinois and federal courts across the nation. Lawyers from around the country refer clients to us, knowing we will deliver the superior level of representation to their clients they would expect from themselves.

Receive the trusted counsel you deserve. Contact us for a consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

7710 Carondelet Avenue
Suite 350
St. Louis, MO 63105

Toll Free: 800-748-2105
Phone: 314-282-8657
St. Louis Law Office Map