You or a loved one has been arrested for a crime. No matter if this is a first arrest or fifth arrest; it can be a scary and confusing time. What happens after the actual arrest? Before appearing in court, the arrestee will face about 24 hours going through the criminal system and eventually the first appearance will be made before a judge in Court. This is referred to as the arraignment. At an arraignment, the person arrested is referred to as the defendant. The defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney at the arraignment. Because of the importance of this first court appearance it is imperative that an attorney be present on behalf of the defendant.
At the arraignment the charges are read to the defendant by the judge and a plea may be entered. This can be extremely overwhelming for anyone to go through as the courtroom will be filled with many people including attorneys and other defendants. Remember, this is the first appearance and it is not time for a trial. However, the first important decision will be made by the judge at the arraignment – will the defendant remain in jail or will the defendant be released while the case proceeds? If the judge decides to release the defendant, bail may be set which must be posted before the release. This should not be left to chance. By hiring an experienced attorney for the arraignment, you will have representation from the very beginning and the attorney will fight for the best possible outcome.