What Takes Place At An Arraignment Hearing?
When you get arrested for any type of crime, you will face criminal charges for the crime in question. Part of your legal rights in this matter is the ability to go through a fair court process for the crime, and this will require going to court for hearings. The first hearing you will attend is referred to as the arraignment hearing, and here are several things that will occur during this hearing.
You will be formally charged
The arraignment hearing is when the court will formally charge you with a crime; however, this does not make you guilty. This simply means that the court is telling you what charges they have filed against you, and this gives you the information you need to begin working on your case to fight against the charges if desired.
You will have the right to have a lawyer
Secondly, at this hearing, the judge will tell you that you have the right to have legal counsel. This means that you do not have to say anything or do anything at this hearing if you do not currently have a lawyer hired. This gives you the chance to choose a lawyer to hire, or to ask the court for a court-appointed lawyer. You will be given a court-appointed lawyer if you qualify for one. To qualify, you will need to prove you do not have money to hire your own lawyer.
You will be asked how you plan to plead
Another thing that will take place is a question from the judge about how you plan to plead with these charges. In most cases, lawyers will tell you to plead not-guilty, as this will give you the opportunity to work out a plea deal or fight the charges by going through a trial and hoping you end up with a not-guilty verdict.
You will be told when to appear again in court
Finally, the judge at this hearing will tell you when your next court date will be for your case, and you will need to make sure you are there on this date and at the right time. Failure to appear will result in many problems.
These are the main things that will occur at your arraignment hearing if you are facing criminal charges. If you have not yet hired a lawyer to assist you in your case, you should do so by contacting a criminal lawyer, like Barry W Engle PC.