The initial court appearance for a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor charge is called an arraignment hearing. At the arraignment hearing, the defendant is advised of his or her legal rights, may apply for a public defender and may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
The initial court appearance for a gross misdemeanor or felony charge is called an initial appearance, first appearance, or Rule 5 hearing. The defendant is advised of his or her legal rights and is advised of the charge or charges. The defendant may apply for a public defender. However, no plea is taken from the defendant.