Definitions for "Initial Appearance"
Keywords:  arraignment, bail, arrest, plea, felony
Formal proceeding during which the judge advises the defendant of the charges and decides on bail.
The defendant comes before a judge within hours of the arrest to determine whether or not there is probable cause for his or her arrest.
A defendant's first appearance in court. A judge may read the charges, set bail (either cash or personal recognizance and determines the conditions of release if any). In felony cases, a date is set for a preliminary hearing. In misdemeanors, the initial appearance is also the arraignment where the defendant enters an initial plea.