Talking to an Attorney Before You Appear in Court

Before an individual who is in custody may be questioned regarding a crime, the law requires the police to inform that person that they have the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. If the person does not waive the right to an attorney, the police must arrange for the presence of an attorney before questioning can take place. Likewise, if the police wish to place a person who has been arrested into a lineup, that person has the right to the presence of an attorney at the lineup. The Public Defender has attorneys available to serve those functions. An attorney who responds to the police station or jail serves as the person's attorney in the same way as if the attorney had been retained to represent the person. The attorney represents the client, not the police.

Advice Before You Appear in Court

If you are in custody in the Napa County Department of Corrections, there is a toll free number to dial our office directly during normal business hours. Usually the support staff can tell you when you can expect to appear in court and direct you to ask for the court to appoint us at that time. If you have sustained injuries which might be relevant to your defense, an investigator can be dispatched to take photos.

Our staff can advise you what to expect at your first appearance, but are not able to discuss the particulars of your case until the charges and police reports are available and we have been appointed to represent you.