An arraignment is a court appearance in which the judge reads the charges against the defendant, and asks how the defendant would like to plead. Most defendants say, "Not guilty."
Arraignment: Getting to Court
People who have been arrested—particularly those who haven’t bailed out of jail or been released on their own recognizance—want to know when they’ll get in front of a judge.
Negotiating Before Arraignment and Pleading Guilty at the Arraignment
Defendants who believe the case against them is very weak often ask whether it's possible to negotiate a dismissal before the arraignment.
What Happens at an Initial Appearance in Georgia?
Find information about the early goings in Georgia criminal cases, including determinations of bail and "probable cause."
What Happens at a First Appearance in Florida?
In Florida, if the authorities arrest and hold a suspect in custody, they must bring them to court within 24 hours of the arrest for a first appearance.
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How Should I Plead at Arraignment?
At some point in the early stages of criminal proceedings, whether at the first court appearance or a later arraignment, judges ask defendants how they choose to plead.
What Happens If a Defendant Refuses to Enter a Plea?
Almost inevitably, at some point in criminal proceedings, a defendant will have to enter a plea.
Can I be charged again, even when the case was dismissed at arraignment?