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What is an Arraignment?

If you or someone you know is charged with a felony case, the first hearing that will be conducted in the Superior Court is called an arraignment. You may be wondering what happens at that hearing.

At the arraignment, the Judge will advise the defendant of their rights. The Judge will advise them of their rights to remain silent. The Judge will advise them of their right to an attorney. And their right to have a trial and be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Judge will advise the defendant of all these rights. The Judge will then tell a defendant what they're charged with in the indictment or the felony information. After the charges are read, the Judge will ask the defendant how they plea.

Now, in most cases a defendant would be advised by their attorney, usually, to go head and plead not guilty. Because it's the State's burden to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. After a defendant enters a not guilty plea, the Judge will make a determination if that defendant can afford or not afford an attorney. If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them. The Court will then set the matter in the felony case for what's called a Case Management Hearing. I've made other videos explaining what that is.

The Judge will also be apprised what the release conditions are. If there's a motion to re-determine release conditions, the Court may address that motion at that time. If not, the Court will probably affirm the release conditions in the Justice Court. Or, in the situation where a defendant has been summonsed to come to court, the Judge will set release conditions. Usually the defendant comes voluntarily to court, the Judge will set them released on their own recognizance.

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If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you may be feeling frightened, anxious, and uncertain of what your future holds. The competent and experienced attorneys at the Hamp Law Offices can help you during this difficult time. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients and providing excellent legal representation to those who have been accused of a crime. Contact our firm today to discuss your case.