Federal Initial Appearance

After a person is arrested on federal charges the law requires that they be brought before a Federal Magistrate at the earliest opportunity. The first appearance before the Federal Magistrate is referred to as the Initial Appearance.

A number of matters are handled at the Initial Appearance. The accused will appear in front of the Magistrate and the Magistrate will:

  • Inform the accused of the charges against them
  • Provide the accused with a copy of the charges against them
  • Provide the accused with legal warnings regarding the accused’s right to remain silent
  • Inquire whether the accused is going to retain counsel or whether they are indigent and are requesting the appointment of counsel
  • Set a bond or reset the case for a Detention Hearing