Users' questions

What is the most common plea at an arraignment hearing?

What is the most common plea at an arraignment hearing?

Pleading not guilty
Pleading not guilty is perhaps the most common plea entered in criminal court. Even if a person believed they are guilty of the offense, pleading not guilty is usually the safest bet. A no contest plead means you neither agree or disagree with the charges against you, and you are just pleading to close the case.

What can I expect at court arraignment?

An arraignment is usually the first court hearing in a criminal case. At an arraignment hearing, the accused enters a plea (guilty, not guilty or no contest), the issue of bail and release is determined, and a future court date is set – usually for the pretrial or, in a felony case, the preliminary hearing.

What is the difference between an arraignment and a court date?

An arraignment is a pre-trial proceeding, sometimes called an initial appearance. The criminal defendant is brought in front of a judge at a lower court. A trial date is established. If the defendant enters a guilty plea, the judge may set a sentencing date.

Why do I plead not guilty at my arraignment?

A not guilty plea simply means that the criminal defendant is going to make the state prove the case against them. It is often wise that defendants plead not guilty at arraignment—even if they think they are guilty. Below are some reasons why defendants initially plead “not guilty”.

Do you have to be at an arraignment?

Due to the possibility of a plea deal at an arraignment, you will want to be present to discuss it with your attorney. If you plead not guilty, a trial date will be set, as well as the amount of bail. If you decide to plead guilty, first consider striking up a plea deal with the prosecution.

What’s the point of plea bargaining at arraignment?

The point of plea bargaining —which often occurs after initial appearances or arraignments—is to receive some kind of benefit in exchange for a guilty or no-contest plea. Without having a lawyer who has negotiated with the prosecution, a defendant who pleads guilty can be subject to the whim of prosecutors and judges.

What happens at an arraignment hearing for a juvenile?

If your child is placed in detention, the arraignment hearing will occur at the same time as the detention hearing. If your child is not in detention, the arraignment hearing will occur at Juvenile Court. At the arraignment hearing your child is presented with the official complaint and is allowed to make a plea.