Arraignment & Pretrial Motions

  • The Criminal Justice System
  • Arraignment & Pretrial Motions
  • How to Release an Inmate from Jail
  • Types of Bail
  • Defendant's Rights
  • At arraignment, the initial appearance in a criminal prosecution, the defendant is formally advised by the court of the charges contained in the indictment against him. The defendant is given the opportunity to plead GUILTY or NOT GUILTY to the charges.

    If the defendant pleads NOT GUILTY, the case is set for trial. If the defendant pleads GUILTY, he or she will usually be sentenced that day.

    The victim in a case is always kept informed as to the progress of the case in court. He or she will receive information from the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case regarding the date and time of in court proceedings. It is not necessary that a victim or witnesses be present at arraignment or any other pre-trial hearing.

    In most cases, the defendant’s attorney will file various motions raising questions of law which must be decided by the court before the trial can proceed. The judge will conduct the necessary hearings and decide the questions presented. Usually, victims and witnesses are not required to attend these, but in the event their presence becomes necessary, they will be contacted and compelled to attend.