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What Is an Arraignment?

An arraignment is the formal appearance of an accused in court for the first time after an arrest or in response to a criminal summons to answer the accusations contained in the complaint or indictment.

At the Arraignment

At the arraignment, the judge:

When Must an Arraignment Occur?

The police are permitted to hold a suspect in custody up to 72 hours before an arraignment must occur (depending on the jurisdiction). If the defendant has been released on his own recognizance ("ROR") or has posted bail, then the arraignment will occur within a short time after the defendant¿s release from jail.

Is a Personal Appearance to the Arraignment Required?

If a defendant is charged with a felony, he must appear in person at the arraignment. If the charge is a misdemeanor, the defendant's attorney may appear on his behalf.

What Can You Do if You are Accused of a Crime?

If you are accused of a crime, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the complicated legal system.

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Last Modified: 12-24-2013 02:40 PM PST

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