I totally understand that for most people the only contact they have with
a criminal court is what they see on television shows like "Law and
Order." In most of these shows they make a production of the defendant
standing up in open court and stating his innocence. It is quite dramatic
what with the background music reaching a crescendo, a courtroom full
of reporters, and all parties sweating the next step.
a defendant never has to announce his plea in open court at their first
appearance, even when it is a highly publicized case there are only at most, a handful
of reporters and one camera crew, and I have yet to hear any music at
the criminal courthouse. On the first court date the criminal attorney
quietly lets the court know that they will be representing you, will be
reviewing the offense report, and will be starting the process of representing
you. Most clients are relieved to know that it is highly unlikely they
will be speaking to anyone on their first court date, let alone the open
court or Judge.