Arraignment

Arraignment is usually the first appearance an accused will have before the Court after the Prosecution has filed charges. The Court will read the charges to the accused and to plead guilty or not guilty the charges. If the defendant pleads “not guilty” the Court will usually set another date for the defendant to return for trial, motion hearings, or a status conference. Arraignments are very important since it is the first interaction the Court may have with the accused. If the accused does not appear at arraignment, the Court may issue a bench warrant for his arrest which could also cause his bond to be revoked.

If the accused is only issued a citation and not booked in to jail, the arresting agency may sometimes list an arraignment date on the citation. The bondsman or the jail may give an accused the arraignment date if the defendant bonds out. If the defendant cannot bond out, the court will transport the defendant to the arraignment. It is also common that an arraignment date may not be set if the accused is issued a citation or bonds out of jail. If no arraignment date is initially set, it will be served to the last known address of the accused. If you are arrested for a crime, it is always important to notify your bondsman and the court with your current and correct address to avoid missing your arraignment.