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Arraignment in California: What to Expect | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA


  • Arraignment in California: What to Expect

    Posted Jul 15th, 2014 By in DUI, Plea Agreement, Plea bargain With | Comments Off on Arraignment in California: What to Expect


    Arraignment, put in the simplest terms, is the first time that a defendant appears in court. This is after the arrest and charges have been filed by the prosecutor. However, the arraignment is not to be confused with a trial. There are key differences between the two that you should know before your arraignment starts. Here are a few things to expect during the process.

    At the arraignment, the judge tells the defendant:

    • What the charges are,
    • What his or her constitutional rights are, and
    • That if he or she does not have enough money to hire a lawyer, the court will appoint a lawyer free of charge.

    The defendant may then respond to the charges by entering a plea. Common pleas include guilty, not guilty, or no contest (also known as “nolo contendere”).

    • Not Guilty means the defendant says he or she did not commit the crime. Sometimes, defendants enter a plea of not guilty as a strategic decision during plea bargaining or because they want to go to trial and force the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
    • Guilty means the defendant admits he or she committed the crime. The judge finds the defendant guilty and enters a conviction in the court record.
    • No Contest means the defendant does not contest (disagree with) the charge. This plea has the same effect as a guilty plea, except the conviction generally cannot be used against the defendant in a civil lawsuit.

    If the defendant is in custody at the time of arraignment, after the defendant enters a plea (responds to the charges), the judge will:

    • Release the defendant on his or her “own recognizance” (which means the defendant promises to return to court on a specified date), OR
    • Set bail and send the defendant back to the jail until the bail is posted, OR
    • Refuse to set bail and send the defendant back to jail.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703