After a person is arrested, they will appear before a judge within 48 hours of their arrest. This appearance is known as a First Appearance.
At a First Appearance, a judge advises a defendant of the charges against them and conducts a probable cause determination.
Probable Cause Determination
A probable cause determination is a review of the police report (arrest affidavit) to determine whether the facts alleged by law enforcement would support a conviction for the crime on which a defendant was arrested or for some lesser crime.
If a judge determines there is probable cause, the judge will then inquire as to whether a defendant intends to hire a private attorney or wishes to have a public defender appointed, and then determine bond conditions.
No Probable Cause
If a judge determines there is no probable cause, the judge will release the person on their own recognizance (ROR) on the charge where no probable cause was found.
When a judge finds no probable cause (no-PC), a judge is not dismissing the case. Rather, the judge is only saying that there is insufficient evidence to support requiring an appearance bond.
Even though no-PC was found, the prosecutor can still prosecute the case based upon the evidence they have or they can obtain additional evidence before filing formal charges.
Once a jugde has found probable cause and addressed representation, the judge will then decide if a bond is appropriate, and if so, how much to set the bond at.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a crime in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today for the criminal defense you deserve.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.