Every person charged with a felony offense, and many charged with misdemeanors, are brought before a Magistrate within 48 hours of their arrest for a First Appearance Hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to advise a Defendant of their rights and what crimes they are charged with. In most cases a bond is also set based on what crime they are alleged to have committed, their ties to the community, and their criminal history. Defendants are directed to the Public Defender's Office is they are indigent and unable to make bond.
The Magistrate Court conducts First Appearance Hearings Monday - Saturday in the Courtroom located within the Jackson County Jail.