What Happens at an Arraignment Hearing?
April 11, 2018
The Arraignment hearing is a formal court hearing where an individual finds out, in open court, whether the Government will file charges against him or her. This hearing typically takes place 30 days after an individual is arrested.
If an individual is still in “custody” i.e. jail, and the government has not charged him or her within 33 days from the time of arrest, the individual will be entitled to a release from jail if the government cannot show “good cause” as to why charges have not been filed. If “good cause” is found by the Judge, the government has until the 40th day from arrest to file charges, or the individual will be released.
Typically, two things will happen at Arraignment:
- The government will announce that they are taking “No Action” i.e. the case has been dropped; or
- The government will announce that is filing criminal charges against an individual.
If you do not hire an attorney, you must appear in court and face the judge on your own. If you hire an attorney, he or she would appear on your behalf and your presence is typically waived. If charges are filed, the Judge will ask the individual to enter a “plea.” Normally, one would enter a plea of “Not Guilty.” Your attorney should then “Demand Discovery” (i.e. the evidence the government has against you) and “Set the matter for trial.”
The Arraignment process can seem confusing and scary when you do not have assistance of legal counsel. Therefore, if you or a loved one are charged with a crime, and you have an Arraignment date set, it is important that you speak with experience attorneys such as Anthony Bruno & Peter Schoenthal.