If the accused is arrested and charges are filed, he or she will soon appear in court for a first appearance. The judge will set a bond and advise the accused, known as the defendant, of the charge(s) against him or her. The defendant will be advised of his or her constitutional rights. In traffic and misdemeanor cases, the cause will be continued for trial or plea. In felony offenses, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled, usually for a date within thirty days after the first appearance.
Victims will be notified of the charges being filed and what has happened in court by the State's Attorney's Victim Assistant. Victims and witnesses need not be present at the first appearance.
Most defendants post bond and are released from custody pending further proceedings. Those who are unable to post bond, remain in custody.