An initial appearance is a hearing that only happens in Felony and Class A misdemeanor cases, so it only happens in district court. It does not happen in class B or C misdemeanors or for infractions in Justice Court. An initial appearance is sometimes a very simple hearing and sometimes it’s a little bit more involved, but the idea behind initial appearance is that it is the first time for you to appear in court and have the charges presented to you. The court will give you the criminal information, which will inform you of the charges the state is pursuing against you.
Another thing that can happen at an initial appearance is the court can impose certain conditions on you. The court can make you post bail where they can make you report to pre-trial services or they can inform you that you cannot contact the alleged victim in the case. Sometimes it’s as simple as going in and scheduling the next court date, like a scheduling conference or sometimes it’s much more involved where they will tell you all the things that you have to do you or obey while your case is proceeding.