What Happens at an Arraignment in Biola, CA? Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest Plea & More

After you have been arrested and your paperwork has been completed, your case will be docketed, which means it’s assigned to arraignment courtroom where you will be brought to a holding cell that is attached to the courtroom where your arraignment will be held. A “Notice of Appearance” is submitted by the lawyer you have chosen if you have chosen to have your own. If you don’t have one- you will be assigned one by the court. Whatever the case, the attorney will be given a copy of your papers and you will talk to him before you appear before the judge. Ajua Bail Bonds outline what happens during an arraignment.

What Happens at an Arraignment?

Your attorney will call for you just before your case is scheduled in court. The attorney will inform you of the crimes or violations you have been charged with and any plea that has been offered by the District Attorney or judge will be discussed. Your “community ties” will be prepared in an application for your release without bail. Your attorney will most likely contact a friend or family member to verify the information and they may also need to be in court, if possible. Once the meeting is over, the attorney will notify the court that you are ready to appear before the judge for your arraignment. The arraignment is the formal process when you’re are informed of the charges against you and the rights that you have. The District Attorney will then tell you of any information the People intend to use against you. You will also be informed of the police departments evidence against you what you were arrested for.

Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest Plea

Defendants will often plead not guilty at arraignment as this gives the defense an opportunity to review and prepare you case for your defense. Pleading not guilty means the defendant is forcing the state prove its case against him. A guilty plea means the prosecutor and the defense attorney will negotiate the sentence during the arraignment. For more serious crimes a sentencing hearing may be scheduled at a later date. A no contest plea is where the defendant acknowledges that the prosecutor has enough evidence but does not admit guilt, in other words, that he did it. When this plea is entered, the court will proceed the same way as a guilty plea. If you plead “not guilty” the court will ask the DA for a recommendation on whether you should be released on you own recognizance (“ROR’d)” or have bail set. “ROR” will be argued or a lower bail will be requested. If there is a family member or friend in the courtroom they may be able to vouch for you. You will usually not be asked to speak unless you are taking a plea. If you do have something you’d like to say, you need to give that information to your attorney.

Time Frame of Arraignments

Arraignments are completed at a quick pace. It is very important that you ask your attorney if you have questions or you believe there may be an undesirable outcome. An arraignment must occur within a reasonable amount of time. If it’s delayed for a long period of time it violates the defendant’s federal constitutional Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial and the case may have to be dismissed due to a delay that is unreasonably delayed. The judge will review the reasons for the delay and determine of it was unreasonable.

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