One of the things that make the legal process so intimidating and complex is the nomenclature that is used. “Arraignment” is on such term and it simply describes one of the early stage steps in the process.
What happens at the arraignment?
The defendant is formally notified of the charges being pursued against them. That's about it; the judge reads off the charges and gives a copy of the charging document to the defendant.
Is that all?
Not quite. In addition to putting a defendant on notice of the charges, this is also the time that a plea is entered. Unless there are specifically unique circumstances, the options are typically guilty or not guilty.
This is also a great time to get some preliminary motions filed. Defense attorneys like to use this court event to file various motions. Some common examples include a motion for a bill of particulars or a motion for discovery.
What if I have additional questions?
This is an often overlooked stage in the criminal process and even attorneys sometimes underestimate its importance. If you have any questions about this, or any, stage, an attorney at Michling Plaza & Associates would be happy to help.