Criminal Defense: What to Expect in Your First Court Appearance

Arraignment, the fancy name for your first court appearance, sounds scary and complicated, but with the right representation on your side it can be much less intimidating than you might think.

This court appearance essentially serves as the judge's chance to tell you why you're being charged. Arraignment typically takes place within 48 hours of your arrest if you're already in jail. If not, it may not occur for several weeks.

The prosecution is responsible for writing up your accusation, which is then read aloud by the judge. After hearing your charges, you may apply for legal counsel in the form of an attorney. Judges may choose to supply an attorney if being incarcerated is a likely consequence of the charges. If you are required to hire your own attorney and do not have enough time to do so right away, the court will consider putting your arraignment on hold.

What's next?

Courtroom scenes in movies and on TV are actually fairly accurate when the judge asks the defendant, "And how do you plea?" Most defendants choose to submit a not guilty plea, but this will be up to you and your attorney.

When bail is involved, you can petition for your bail status to be reviewed, usually with the hope that the judge will reduce it significantly. The prosecution team is also allowed to make a case for why they believe your bail should be raised.

It is then time for the judge to schedule the hearing of pretrial motions. Pretrial motions are issues that are brought to the judge's attention by you and your attorney. Depending on the status of these motions, the judge will then determine the date of your next hearings, including a pretrial conference, preliminary hearing, and the trial itself.

At Musa-Obregon & Associates, we know how important it is to secure the right New York criminal defense attorney for your case. Our skills could make all the difference in the positive outcome of your case and we're prepared to work endlessly on your behalf to make that happen.

Interested in learning more about how we may be able to help you? Give us a call! We offer free consultations and legal counsel in a wide variety of languages, including Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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