Being arrested actually brings about various steps to take or procedures to follow which may actually be considered as a way to protect the rights of the defendant.
After the process of booking, the arraignment may eventually follow. An arraignment may simply be defined as the process of reading the criminal charges against the defendant in a formal manner. Of course, the defendant has to be accompanied by a Los Angeles criminal attorney. What may be the other facts that defendants have to learn about the arraignment procedure?
A short arraignment procedure may actually be combined with a hearing to determine whether the posting of bail will be allowed or not. This step in the criminal process may also give the defendant the chance to enter a plea of any of the following: no contest, not guilty, or the most ‘hated’ one of the three: guilty.
A person facing a criminal case, after consultation with a Los Angeles criminal lawyer, may also choose to utilize the ‘Alford Law’, or the final plea. The final plea is made for those people who have not admitted to committing the crime, but accepts the fact there is significant evidence against him.
Once the plea process has been completed, the next step in arraignment is to schedule the trial or hearing dates. There may be a few cases, however, wherein defendants immediately plead guilty which usually results to the judge stating the verdict or sentence before the end of the arraignment session.
For people who are being detained in jail without clarity on specific charges, arraignment must be held in 24-48 hours from the time of the arrest. Otherwise, the defendants have to be released.
For minor crimes committed, such as a traffic offense, people who have been pronounced guilty may only have to pay a fine and then head back to home. There may also be situations wherein settling the fine prior to the arraignment may help the defendant evade the charge.
Payment of the required fine may allow the defendant not to show up at the arraignment.
Take note, however, that this may not be practiced in all states.
A Los Angeles criminal attorney will definitely tell you that not being present in arraignment and being late for an arraignment usually results to an arrest warrant, other fines, or additional criminal charges. This is why it is very important that you take the arraignment process seriously.