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What happens at a New York City criminal court arraignment?

After you have been processed by CJA you will be brought to a holding cell to be arraigned.

If you have retained private counsel then he or she will meet with you in one of the booths near the holding cell to interview you.  If you have not arranged for private counsel the court will appoint counsel to protect your rights.

Your attorney will inform you of the following:

  • The charges – whether you are being charged with a violation, misdemeanor, or felony.
  • If the district attorney is making a plea offer.
  • And whether it is in your best interest to plead guilty or not guilty.

Once your paperwork is ready and you have met with your lawyer the case is ready to be arraigned.  The court officer will bring you from the holding cell before the judge in open court.

The prosecutor will give a brief statement of the charges.  To save time and judicial resources it is customary for your attorney to waive reading of the formal charges.  The waiver of the reading of the formal charges is not a waiver of your rights to dispute the sufficiency of the accusatory instrument.

At the arraignment, the court will determine whether you should be released on recognizance (ROR). Which is your good faith promise to return to court.  Or whether bail is required or you should be held without bail.  If the prosecutor is demanding bail then your attorney will argue why ROR or a reduced bail should apply.  Make sure your family and friends show up at arraignment to show family and community ties.  In addition, make sure that your family and friends are on their best behavior in the courtroom.

The arraignment is not a trial or evidentiary hearing. There are no witnesses. The police may not appear.  Don't expect your lawyer to rant, rage, and put on a show.  Any ranting is merely for showmanship and is not in your best interest.

The prosecutor will also inform the court of certain required notices, including but not limited to, whether you made any statements to the police, or if the police performed some form of identification procedure a part of the case.  For example, were you identified in a lineup or show up.

Sometimes the case gets disposed of at the arraignment.  If you take a plea at arraignment the case will be disposed and you then have to pay any applicable fees, fines or penalties. Generally, the entire arraignment process takes between three to five minutes.

We zealously represent clients in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Westchester, and Nassau Counties in all aspects of State and Federal criminal law matters from arrest to trial.  If you are about to be arrested or wanted for questioning by NYPD then you should protect your rights by calling Bryan J. Hutchinson Bronx, a New York police brutality lawyer at (718) 671-0900 for a free confidential consultation.

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At the Law Office Bryan Hutchinson, PLLC, we focus on personal injury, divorce, and probate and estate administration. We are dedicated advocates, committed to protecting your rights with vigor and understanding. Our approach combines zealous advocacy with a deep concern for your unique situation, ensuring that your case is handled with both determination and care."

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The Law Office Bryan Hutchinson, PLLC is committed to answering your questions about personal injury, divorce, and probate and estate administration issues in New York. We offer free personal injury consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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