Arraignment is the initial step in a criminal proceeding. At this stage a defendant will be brought before a judge and will enter a plea not guilty to the charge. Sometimes the district attorney DA will offer a plea . You should only discuss the consequences of accepting such an offer with an experienced criminal defense attorney, as it is very difficult to withdraw such a plea and the consequences can be grave.
If you do not accept a plea bargain at arraignment, the judge will determine if bail should be set or ROR> The court will take into account many factors, such as the severity of the alleged crime, criminal record and whether the individual poses a flight risk. You will want an experienced attorney to argue on your behalf to fight for your release or at the least argue for lower bail.
Also there may be other issues also discussed at arraignment; such as temporary orders of protection, license revocation, or pre-trial release to probation.
If you are charged with a felony , your case may be referred to the Grand Jury to determine whether probable cause exists to pursue your case further. The Grand Jury meets in secret and will hear evidence from the prosecution. You also have the right to testify before the Grand Jury. However, most defendants choose not to do so. One of our experienced criminal defense attorneys will help you decide what to do in this situation. If the Grand Jury decides there is sufficient evidence for your case to proceed to trial, they will issue an indictment, and your case will be scheduled for further court dates.