Arrest and Warrants
What happens at an Arraignment?
I have been called to hear out an arraignment. What should I expect from it?
By  Mihir Dharap  |  19 Apr 2016  |  Upvotes: 0  | 

1 Answer(s)

Tanushree Sharma


You have a right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay - usually within two court days - after being arrested. You will appear before a municipal or a justice court judge who will tell you officially of the charges against you at your first arraignment. At the arraignment, an attorney may be appointed for you if you cannot afford one, and bail can be raised or lowered. You also can ask to be released on O.R., even if bail was previously set.If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can plead guilty or not guilty at the arraignment. Or, if the court approves, you can plead nolo contendere, meaning that you will not contest to the charges. Legally this is the same as a guilty plea, but it cannot be used against you in a non-criminal case, unless the charge can be punished as a felony.Before pleading guilty to some first-time offenses, such as drug use or possession in small amounts for personal use, you may want to find out if your county has any drug diversion programs. Under these programs, instead of fining you or sending you to jail, the court may order you to get counseling which can result in dismissal of the charges if you complete the counseling.If misdemeanor charges are not dropped, a trial will be held later in municipal court. If you are charged with a felony, however, and the charges are not dropped, the next step is a preliminary hearing.

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