Facing criminal charges can be a frightening situation. It can make your future feel unpredictable and out of your control.
One of the first steps you will face during the criminal process is an arraignment. Often, people do not understand the goal and purpose of arraignment.
Here’s what you should know about this early step in the criminal process.
What should I expect?
One reason the arraignment can be confusing is because it is not a time to present evidence. Arraignment is a time to determine how each side needs to prepare for the next step in the process.
The primary goal of arraignment is to read the charges against you and ask for your plea. At this step in the process, you can plead guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). Once you enter your plea, the court will move on to determine how much bail to assign to your case.
Having the right support
It is important to keep in mind that no one is trying to prove either side of the case during an arraignment. This part of the process determines the next step based on the plea you enter.
It is essential to go to your bail hearing with an experienced advocate to help you with your case. An attorney will be familiar with the procedure of the court and can speak for you. An attorney can also help you understand what to expect as your case moves forward.