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I have an arraignment date but my attorney told me I did not need to come. Is that true?

Tallahassee, FL |

She told me that it is called a rocket docket where the judge wants to know if i have a lawyer and how i want to plea. Will she do the plea for me? I received a letter in the mail for the prosecuting attorney stating that he hadn't received her notice of appearance. I believe she sent it yesterday, when I finally was able to get a hold of her. Does she send that notice to appear to the prosecuting attorney? And am I allowed to have a copy? It says a warrant out for my arrest will occur if I do not show up for my arraignment. So who's right? How do i make sure that she really did send that notice to appear? She's a great lawyer but very unreliable. I was going to go out of town, but have decided to stay until this is all figured out.

Attorney Answers 3


If you have hired an attorney and the attorney has filed a Notice of Appearance, Written Plea of Not Guilty and Waiver of Arraignment, you do not have to attend your Arraignment. The only exception in Leon County is the Juvenile Division which requires that a Defendant make an Arraignment appearance. Your attorney is correct, if she has filed the proper paperwork you will have waived Arraignment, and no warrant will be issued for your arrest.

This is the kind of question you should be asking the attorney that you hired.

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If your attorney has filed the correct paperwork and waived your appearance, you do not have to be at arraignment. You can check with her or the Clerk to determine if this has been done.

My greater concern is that you say "she is a great lawyer but very unreliable." I have never known an unreliable attorney to be a great lawyer. An unreliable lawyer is just that, unreliable. Such a lawyer will miss deadlines, not properly prepare or investigate a case, and fail to appear for court or keep the client informed. If that is your attorney, I would find another one. You hired your lawyer to do a job for you. It is up to you to make her do that job, including keeping you informed.

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You are so right. She has missed important deadlines and broke promises. It's just that when I catch her in her office (cuz her secretary is friends with me and tells me when she's there since she refuses to answer her phones), she gives me undivided attention and explains everything. Plus I'm paying her $800 (even though that's the number she came up with) and I'm sure she has bigger clients. i guess I get what i paid for. That's the most I can afford, really. A lot of attorneys in town say she's an excellent attorney, just impossible to reach.


Trust your lawyer. Don't you think you're better off trusting the lawyer who knows your case, rather than asking a group of lawyers who know nothing about your case questions? Trust the lawyer you have. Communicate with her when you have questions, doubts or insecurities about your case - she's your lawyer.

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