You have been arrested on criminal charges – and now you are standing in a New York State court. You look around – at the judge, maybe the policeman who arrested you, and other courtroom people. You are about to be arraigned. What should I do?Before your arraignment even happens, reach out. Contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Your criminal defense lawyer is always your best voice. Always. Your attorney knows: Proper representation at your arraignment can be the single most important moment in your case. Your attorney . . . his representation . . . can influence the entire direction your case takes.What should I expect?You should expect this: The real time between your arrest and arraignment is short – by law, usually no more than 24 hours. With everything happening, this is a short period of time – emotional, fast-moving, and confusing. You need help.What should I know?You need to know some basic facts:
• Your arraignment is not a trial or hearing.
• No witness is called. No evidence is presented. No arresting police officer is asked to be present.
• Your guilt or innocence will not be decided.
• Your arraignment is usually centered on one issue: Depending on how serious your charge is, will the judge set bail?
• If your bail is set – for how much?
• And if no bail is set, will you be released on your own recognizance (ROR) or remanded to custody??
• Other things can happen, but the judge’s decision – to set or not to set your bail – is the most important.
What else should I know?
• Many New York State arraignment courts are often open 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M., just to handle the volume of cases.
• Typically, a single judge may hear between 80-100 arraignments during his shift. He has only minutes to review your case.
• The judge that arraigns you probably won’t ever see you again. His job is to set bail and keep things moving.
• Frequently, if you are a defendant who appears for arraignments during evening hours – and this is a fact – you do not have adequate legal representation.
• Without a proper voice, a defendant – maybe you? – would become confused by the process and legal jargon.
• Confused by this, you might become angry. You might say things. Is that wise, the voice you really want to express? You need a calm voice.
• And a reminder: Often a defendant receives a greater amount of bail set and handed down is an amount a criminal defense attorney could have caused to be reduced or dismissed.
• Simply put, the outcome of an arraignment can drastically affect your case.
Given these facts, are you prepared to be your own voice at your arraignment?
If you are facing an arraignment – or if it is pending – contact The Blanch Law Firm today. Initial consultations are complimentary and confidential.For information on our top-rated arraignments lawyers and defense attorneys, please contact The Blanch Law Firm at 212-736-3900.