Defendant First Appearance in Court


  • Conduct preliminary criminal history check of the defendant.
  • Prepare and file information and declaration of probable cause.

Both Attorneys

  • Notify Superior Court interpreter coordinator that defendant needs interpreter as soon as you become aware of the need.

What Staff & Other Agencies Should Do

  • Sheriff's Booking Office

    Notify Superior Court interpreter coordinator if defendant needs interpreter.
  • LESA

    Provide prosecutor with copies of police reports.
  • Pretrial Services

    Gather and present to the court preliminary information on:
    • Indigency relevant to appointment of counsel at public expense; and
    • Information relevant to bail and personal recognizance (PR) release decision (e.g. criminal history, other pending cases, warrants, prior failures to appear, ties to the community, etc.).

What Should Happen (see Criminal Rule 3.2.1)

  1. Determine the need for an interpreter for the defendant
  2. Copy of information, declaration of probable cause, and police report, if available, provided to the defendant through defense counsel
  3. Probable Cause determination - review of declaration (Rule 3.2.1)
  4. Arraignment on information, including defendant's entry of a plea
  5. Appointment of Counsel, if defendant indigent
    If Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) appointed, the attorney assigned the case files a notice of appearance within two days of first appearance if appointment accepted
  6. Bail / personal recognizance release decision
  7. Pretrial Conference (PTC) setting
    Date for PTC set based on type of cases:
    1. Set eight to 14 days out for controlled substance cases and other, routine cases.
    2. Set PTC / Omnibus Hearing (OH) 14-21 days out for all felony cases.
  8. Trial Setting
    1. Trial date selected based on custody status and time for trial provisions (CrR 3.3)
    2. Trial dates in pre-assigned cases set by department to which the case is assigned.