What to expect: Going to criminal court without a lawyer
In criminal matters in Rhode Island courtrooms, arraignments, pre-trial conferences, pleas, and trials make up a small list of the potential scheduled appearances.
After the judge takes the bench, the calendar will be called. The judge will call out each case on the docket. Depending on the court and the judge, the potential responses are almost endless. They range from “here” to “formal” to “conference” to “ready trial.” Each response has its own special meaning for very specific reasons.
For non-lawyers any court appearance is likely an in unfamiliar place with even more unfamiliar procedures. And in criminal cases the stakes are high.
Attending criminal court appearance without attorney can result in a number of scenarios. Most likely, all involve an extended amount of time in court, another court date, and eventually an uneducated plea.
After a long morning or more likely a series of long mornings, a prosecutor will probably make an offer to resolve the case. That offer could be very reasonable. However, only a fool would accept an offer without a clear understanding of the law, the elements of the charge, and potential defenses.
Going to court without an attorney may seem like a way to save a few bucks. However, the stakes are just too high. An experienced professional attorney will clarify the process, strategize for the best possible result, and effectively communicate with the prosecutor and court.
When facing any criminal charge rely Callaghan & Callaghan’s experience and expertise.
Call today for a free consultation: (401) 294-4555.