What is an Arraignment and Other Questions About Criminal Law Proceedings?

What is an Arraignment and Other Questions About Criminal Law Proceedings?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A person who is facing criminal charges for the first time understandably has a lot of questions. The best way to get answers to your specific questions is to contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at 909-920-0908 for a free legal consultation. In the meantime, you can read on to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get.

What is an arraignment?

The word refers to the first time you appear in court after your arrest. At your arraignment you will get a lot of information that you need, including the charges you will be facing. It is also the first change you will have to plead guilty or not guilty. Your arraignment is also the time at which your bail will be set and you will be appointed a criminal defense lawyer if you do not already have one. We do recommend that you hire your criminal defense attorney before your arraignment, if possible.

At what point is an attorney appointed?

At the arraignment. If you hire your own attorney, then you will need to ensure they are at your arraignment. If you are planning to work with a Public Defender then you will meet one at the arraignment who will handle that appearance for you. However, they are not likely the one who will move forward and help you with the rest of your case. At the arraignment, you will get a few minutes with this Public Defender to talk about the charges before you decide how to plea to the judge.

What does the judge consider when deciding on bail?

The judge is going to decide on the amount of bail at the arraignment. They will take numerous factors into consideration. For example, a person who is charged with a guns and weapon charge is likely to have higher bail set than a person charged with shoplifting. Know as well that even if you made bail before arraignment, the judge can increase or decrease the bail amount at the arraignment – it all depends on whether or not the prosecutor has changed the charges against you.

Finally, it is important to know that when the judge sets bail, they are using what is known as a bail schedule. This schedule determines how much bail will be charged for different offenses. The judge can raise or lower it – the bail schedule is just a starting point – but it can give you an idea of likely bail amounts.

Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for the help you need

The bottom line is that if you are charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense attorney. We highly recommend getting a criminal defense consultation before the arraignment. You can do so by calling Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at 909-920-0908. We are here to help you through this time. Remember: You do not have to face it alone and there are always options.