What is Arraignment?
Arraignment in criminal law is one of the first formal court appearances in which charges are read aloud to the accused and the accused is asked how he or she would like to plead (guilty or not guilty). At this point, the accused individual is generally in custody and may already be aware of the charges.
What is Federal Court Arraignment?
In federal cases, a number of major events have already taken place, including investigation by federal agents, a grand jury investigation and indictment, the arrest, and a first appearance. If you received a target letter prior to indictment, you are already aware of the federal charges against you.
Note: The felony arraignment hearing is the first time you have an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against you. It is crucial to retain counsel at this stage of a case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help improve the outcome of a case.
Steps of the Federal Arraignment Process
There are three general steps in the federal arraignment process:
- You are informed of the charges against you (although you may already be aware of the charges because of an earlier preliminary hearing)
- You are asked to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty)
- You are either released on bail or remanded to custody pending trial
In addition, court personnel will schedule upcoming dates for different stages of your case, including pretrial motions and hearings and the federal trial date itself. If you reached an agreement with the federal prosecutor as a result of federal plea bargaining, the arraignment hearing is a point at which the agreement can be submitted to the judge.
Contact Federal Defense Attorney Patrick Roberts
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Patrick Roberts represents clients facing federal charges throughout the U.S. Roberts Law Group, PLLC was founded in 2007. Since then, Patrick Roberts has tried hundreds of cases. Call 800-760-9071 to request a consultation or use our online form.
North Carolina vs. M.W.
Charge: Charge: Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon (4 Counts), First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon
Facing: 12 - 17 years in prison
An incarcerated defendant accused our client of participating in the robbery of a group of youth at a party. We were able to raise doubt as to the credibility of this individual. In the end, the prosecutor dismissed these charges, citing a lack of evidence.