What are first and second appearances?
First and second appearances are tools to organize the General Sessions criminal court docket. First appearances generally occur 30-60 days after the arrest. Hundreds of defendants are summoned at the same time to answer basic questions about how their case is going to proceed. Criminal defendants declare their intention to hire an attorney or represent themselves. The presiding judge places the case on a tract to be resolved within 6 months or a calendar year. Murder charges, sex crimes and other time-consuming prosecutions are placed on the one year tract. The projection is an estimate. It doesn’t necessarily mean the case will be resolved in the estimated time frame. Second appearances occur in less than six months from the date of arrest. Defendants and/or their attorneys are required to report whether the case will be a trial or a plea. A majority of the evidence involved in the case should be collected by the arresting law enforcement agency and provided to the defendant’s attorney by this point. The Clerk of Court places cases on the plea docket or the trial docket during this proceeding. It is not necessary for victims to attend first or second appearances. The Solicitor’s Office will notify victims in advance of guilty pleas and trials.

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1. What is a Solicitor?
2. What is a bond hearing?
3. What can I do to help with my case?
4. What are first and second appearances?
5. Why does it take so long for cases to come to court?
6. What kinds of cases are heard in Family Court?
7. What are my rights as a victim?
8. What is the Victim's Compensation Fund?
9. What is a preliminary hearing?
10. Can I report a crime to the Solicitor's Office?
11. What is the purpose of a grand jury?
12. What is transfer court?
13. How long do I have to wait for a fraudulent check conviction to be dropped from my record?
14. What is a VIS form?
15. How will I get restitution?
16. How do I get a charge expunged from my criminal record?