First Court Appearance/Arraignment
Arraignment is the first formal court appearance in front of a judge after you have been charged with a crime. If you are in custody and have been unable to post bond, the arraignment may take place in the jail in front of a judge (or by video, depending on which county you are in). If you are out of custody, arraignment will take place in a courtroom in front of a judge.
- You will be informed of the charges against you and plead NOT GUILTY.
- If you have hired a lawyer, she will enter an appearance on your behalf and argue the issue of bond to the judge.
- If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you should request that the judge appoint a public defender to your case at this time.
- Then, the judge will schedule another court appearance on your case.
- Arraignments are typically very quick court appearances, lasting only a few minutes.