What Are Your Rights in Court?

At the bail hearing, the court must inform you of the charge and your right to have a lawyer and a preliminary hearing in cases in general sessions court. You must be allowed reasonable time to obtain a lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, the court must appoint one for you if you are facing the possibility of a jail sentence.You may also request a preliminary hearing. If you do not request a preliminary hearing you have waived that right. At this hearing, if the judge finds there is probable cause that you committed the crime, he or she will hold you for grand jury action and a trial in general sessions court. If not, your case will be dismissed.