If you are arrested and placed in jail, an “initial appearance,” usually called “first appearance,” before a judge must occur within 24 hours of your arrest. At first appearance, you will be apprised of the charges against you and asked if you understand the charges. At this hearing, bail will be set and you will be asked if you can afford an attorney. For less serious offenses, you might be permitted to enter a guilty or no contest plea at first appearance, if you would like to do so. You are under no obligation to plead at first appearance[1].

[1] Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.130.