Arraignment Process In California Criminal Courts

The first stage in the California criminal court process is the arraignment, the first hearing that follows the arrest, usually within 48 hours. If you are not taken to an arraignment within a reasonable amount of time, then the authorities must let you go. You must have your champion by your side right from the beginning in the Los Angeles criminal court system.

This puts pressure on the prosecutors to make a quick decision as to whether you are guilty of a crime or not. At the arraignment, your criminal defense attorney will get a pretty good feel for how strong the evidence is against you and be able to set the wheels in motion to bring you the best result.

In my opinion, after practicing criminal defense for 25 years, I believe it is foolish not to have your criminal defense attorney by your side right from the beginning, particularly an arraignment attorney in Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley, CA.

Unfortunately, I have seen many a mistake made when your defense attorney does not have all of the mitigating facts about you and your case right from the beginning. Therefore, it is imperative to have a defense attorney by your side from the very beginning. You can call our criminal defense lawyers to get help in that matter.

Reading of Legal Rights and Charges Against You

During this hearing, the judge will advise you of your legal Constitutional rights, and the court will state the specific charges being filed against you. During this time, you will have a chance to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest, and the court will set, modify, reinstate, or clear your bail.

As your defense attorney, we will be there to help you and advise you on the wise decisions to make. In some of the courthouses, the arraignment court is used as the early disposition court to result in a case at the earliest possible time and avoid a harsh sentence. Your criminal defense attorney must be familiar with the system, your matter, and the best defense right from the beginning!

An arraignment lawyer will also help you understand your constitutional rights. Your Constitutional rights include the privilege against self-incrimination, the right to a speedy trial, the right to a trial by jury, the right to produce and confront witnesses, to name a few.

There is no way for you or your family to know which rights to assert when and to be in a position to make the right moves for you at the right time. This is where your local comes in as your guide to success. Moreover, to understand that you don't need just any lawyer by your side. 

If you face misdemeanor charges, you would not even have to appear for your arraignment, and we would go to court on your behalf. On the other hand, you would have to appear if you face felony charges, but we would be there right by your side, ready to be your advocate!

Often, a person is arrested for a felony, bail is set, and when they go to their arraignment, a misdemeanor is filed instead. This is an excellent opportunity to get the person released on their own recognizance and save them thousands of dollars in bail money. An experienced attorney can quickly help you achieve all this.

We will sit down with you and explain everything to you to make sure you are at peace and have a game plan in place for success. We will handle the logistics of everything and do what needs to be done to protect your rights, future, and freedom. 

Why Is It Important To Have An Attorney? 

In my opinion, having your attorney at the arraignment is crucial. Your attorney can begin the process of effectively dealing with your case. The bail can be lowered, or you could be released on your own recognizance (with no bail having to be posted).

The case can be discussed with the prosecutor, and your version of events can be impressed upon the prosecutor to get the case moving in the right direction. Your attorney can prevent the judge and prosecutor from putting orders in place that can negatively affect your life (no drinking alcohol, stay away from the alleged victim, raising your bail so you can't get out, etc.).

Also, a private attorney can come into the arraignment with all of the facts of your life to properly defend you, versus the Public Defender, who will just be getting the case along with many other cases for that day.

The arraignment in a criminal case is the beginning of your case, and in my experience, those who have their champion with them at this critical stage of the proceedings are the most likely to succeed in the result of their case. As a defense lawyer, I have seen mistakes made by less seasoned attorneys at the start of a criminal case that are difficult to recover from, if not impossible.

Once certain decisions are made, they are difficult to undo. Make your decision to help yourself right away by contacting the Hedding Law Firm if you want to give yourself the best chance of making sure you are heard, and the system does not just steamroll you!

Related Content: Can Bail Be Raised After the Preliminary Hearing?