There are a lot of legal terms that you might have heard through popular television shows. They are tossed around rather frequently, but unless you’ve had the misfortune to experience one, you might not know what exactly is being talked about. One such term that you might have come across at some point is arraignment.
What exactly is it? The arraignment signals the beginning of a criminal case. It is the first court appearance following a citation or an arrest.
What Is An Arraignment?
During an arraignment, the defendant appears in court and is called in front of a judge, who will:
- Read the criminal charges against the defendant.
- Ask the defendant if they have an attorney or if they wish to apply for court appointed counsel.
- Ask the defendant to respond to the charges—guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
- Sets condition of release. The judges will decide whether to alter the bail or release the defendant on his or her own recognizance.
- Announce the dates of later courtroom proceedings such as the preliminary hearing, pre-trial, and trial.
When Do Arraignments Take Place
If the suspect is in jail, the arraignment is usually held within forty-eight hours of arrest (not including weekends and holidays). However, it can occur several weeks later if the suspect was let out on bail or issued a citation. Arraignments must occur within a reasonable time of the suspect’s arrest. An unreasonable delay violates the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.
If you have been arrested or received a notice of arraignment, call me, David C Barry today. I will prepare you for the arraignment process and discuss your options with you. (732) 238-8686. Let my 27 years of successful legal experience work for you.