By Attorney Daveta Williams

what to expect at courtIf it is your first time in the criminal justice system, you may wonder what to expect at court. Typically, what you can expect at court is a number of legal professionals addressing their case, one by one, before a presiding judge. The judge assigned to your case is the judge you will appear before at each court appearance. It is expected that everyone inside the courtroom, both legal professionals and clients, will be respectful, dressed appropriately, and prepared and ready to handle each case so that the court’s schedule can run efficiently and as quickly as possible.

One of the first court appearances you will have is the first appearance if arrested. If you are arrested, within 24 hours, you will see a first appearance judge. This judge may or may not be assigned to your case. At first appearance, the judge will determine whether there was probable cause for arrest and determine bond and release conditions. The next scheduled court date is called an arraignment. If your case proceeds to arraignment, this means the State Attorney has filed formal charges by Information. At arraignment, you will be advised of the charges and the maximum punishment for each charge. You will be given the opportunity to enter a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ and will be afforded the opportunity to retain an attorney if you have not done so prior to this date. After arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a status hearing called pretrial conference. Between arraignment and pretrial conference, the State Attorney will disclose any available evidence intended for use at trial and will disclose a witness list. At the pretrial conference, the case is either resolved or the case is set for Trial. 

After the resolution of a pending criminal case, you can expect fines and court costs to be assessed. The Court gives the option to pay court costs and court fines by a deadline or according to a payment plan with the Clerk’s Office.

If your case proceeds to trial, on the day of trial, you should come to court dressed in business casual attire to make a great first impression on the jury. On the day of trial, your attorney will announce to the court that they are ready for trial. At this time, the State may do the same. In some instances, the State announces a Nolle Prosequi (dismissal). If both parties are ready to proceed with the trial, the court will then prepare the courtroom for jury selection. The Defendant and defense attorney will sit at one table and the State Attorney will sit at the other table. At trial, it is expected that the attorneys will act in a professional manner, be respectful to each other, the jury, the judge, and any witnesses called to testify. You can expect the defense attorney to zealously advocate on behalf of their client.

If you are accused of a crime and want to speak with an attorney who will zealously advocate on your behalf please give us a call at (407) 500-4267. Here at Gans Law, we know what it takes to defend your case.

Firm Overview

Gans Law offers a variety of services that range from criminal defense to suspended licenses. Here at Gans Law, we understand that sometimes good people find themselves dealing with complex legal matters.

Learn More

Case Results

Our Reviews

Serving all of central Florida


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL


Orange County, FL
Brandon Gans

Brandon Gans


Julie Clarke

Julie Clarke


Will I Go To Jail For My First DUI?

If you are ever charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), you’ll probably have a lot of questions, including can you go to jail for a first offense? For a first-time DUI in Florida, it depends on the severity of the case. Florida is tough on drunk driving, so...

5 Things Not to Do When Facing Criminal Charges

It can be a stressful and scary time when you are facing criminal charges. During the entirety of your criminal case, from arrest to your last court appearance, it is best to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. They can help you navigate this...

What To Do When There Is A Warrant Out For Your Arrest

When a criminal offense is committed, an arrest warrant may be issued to bring the person before the court. If you believe there is a warrant out for you, it is best to contact a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will have the knowledge to guide you through this...

What is a Pretrial Diversion Program?

Pretrial Diversion Programs are typically intended for first-time offenders or misdemeanor crimes. However, we can sometimes get our clients into the program if they have some criminal history or are charged with a felony. The purpose of these diversion programs is to...

What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?

If you ever miss a court date, the court issues a warrant for your arrest. As soon as you can, appear in court to recall the warrant. Acting quickly shows you are serious about the case. Failing to act quickly can lead to police showing up at your house or job and...

False Accusations

Nobody ever wants to be accused of a crime and it’s worse if you never even committed the crime. Criminal convictions carry serious penalties, including heavy fines or jail time. If you have been falsely accused of a crime, you should retain an attorney right away as...

Landmark Florida Cases

Throughout history, there have been several landmark cases that have shaped the legal landscape in Florida and even the country. Let’s take a look at some of these cases. Gideon v. Wainwright In 1961, Clarence Gideon was arrested and charged with breaking and entering...

What’s the Difference? — Careless vs. Reckless

Do you know the difference between Careless Driving and Reckless Driving? Under Florida Statute, careless driving is considered a civil offense while reckless driving is considered a criminal offense.  Reckless driving (Florida Statute 316.192) is any person who...

Live Out of State but Arrested in Florida

Being arrested is never a pleasant experience, especially when the arrest happens outside of your home state. When arrested, no matter if you’re in your home state or out of state, you likely have to post bail and appear in court.  According to Criminal Defense...

Is it Possible to Reinstate a Suspended License in Florida?

In Florida, there are a number of reasons for a suspended license, such as: Too many points; Failure to pay traffic tickets or court costs; Failure to pay red light camera tickets or toll violations; Failure to appear in court; Being deemed a habitual traffic...

News & Posts



Orlando, FL

(407) 500-4267

132 E. Colonial Dr, Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32801

Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm

Tampa, FL

(407) 500-4267

8200 Bryan Dairy Road Suite 340
Largo, FL 33777

Hours: By Appointment Only


Send Us a Message!

More Contact Info