Flagstaff, Arizona –
So you got charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, now what? Your first real court hearing, except for a possible Initial Appearance where your bond and release conditions will be set, is called an Arraignment.
You’ll be informed of the charges against youThere are several things that happen at an Arraignment, including the following:
- You’ll get a copy of the Complaint if you don’t have one
- You’ll be informed of your constitutional rights
- You’ll learn about possible immigration consequences
- The judge can answer certain questions you may have (but not about the facts of your csae)
- You’ll enter a plea of Not Guilty
- Your next Court date will be scheduled. Be aware that Arizona law generally requires courts to set cases out a few weeks to give the prosecutor (e.g., the Flagstaff City Attorney or the Coconino County Attorney’s Office) enough time to obtain police reports and other evidence in your case, to get your motor vehicle records, to contact alleged victims in your case, and to obtain restitution information.
- Lastly, the Court will address your release conditions, which can include a bond, jail, no contact with victims, no drinking alcohol, and various other requirements.
You have very important constitutional rights which you’ll be informed of at your Arraignment as well:
- You have the right to remain silent and not to incriminate yourself.
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney at all proceedings in your case and to have an attorney appointed to represent you if you are eligible.
- You are presumed innocent unless and until the State can prove you guilty by a standard called “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
- You have the right to have a trial in which the State must present evidence against you and at which time you may confront and cross-examine any witnesses against you.
- You have the right to have the Court issue subpoenas free of charge to compel witnesses of your choosing to appear and testify.
If you have hired a lawyer, you can waive your Arraignment, meaning you don’t have to show up, sit around, wait to see the judge, and go through the cattle call process.
If you’ve got an Arraignment coming up in Arizona, call me today. Time is of the essence and getting a lawyer prior to an Arraignment can help your odds in your criminal case in many ways.