There is a story about this point of law. I believe it to be apocryphal.
As a general rule, the people who have been arrested in the last 24 hours are brought before a judge, usually called a magistrate,
- One job of the magistrate is to listen to one or more prosecutors explain why the State believes the accused probably committed an offence and what offence the State believes it is. This is practically always a pure formality. An arresting officer gets approval to arrest and a designated charge from talking with a prosecutor from the scene of the arrest over radiophone.
- The magistrate also reads the accused his or her rights again.
- Magistrate sets bond or makes a finding that no bond will be set.
- Magistrate asks the accused if he or she claims to be indigent, and, if so, sets up the process for the accused to be interviewed to determine whether or not the accused is eligible for counsel to be appointed at no charge to the accused.
This is a joke. The trial judge would not have pursued the punishment he pronounced. But the lawyer for the anti-social Thunderbird person's complaint that the court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction for the judgment, could never be held to be too late as long as the accused was still alive.