If you have been arrested for a federal offense, you may wonder what is going to happen next. Depending an the offense you were arrested for, you may or may not spend time in jail until your arraignment in court. Find out more about what arraignment in court is and what it could mean to your criminal case.
You Will Be In Court With Fellow Offenders
When a federal judge has court for arraignments, you may be one of several offenders in the court room. Your name will be called when it is your turn to stand before the judge. The judge will read out why you were arrested and your charges will be made official. At this time, you will also receive a written copy of the charges being filed against you.
Your Chance To Enter A Plea Or Get An Attorney
The judge will ask you if you have legal representation or if you need to have one appointed to you. Keep in mind the only way you can get an attorney for your federal offense before an arraignment is by hiring one yourself. Otherwise, you will be appointed one after your charges are read at your arraignment. In the event you feel you do not need an attorney and decide to go it on your own, you will be asked to enter your plea. Most defendants do plead not guilty.
Your Charges And Possible House Confinement
If the judge sets your bond as one of personal recognizance (PR), you will be able to sign it and go home until you go to court for your charges. However, depending on your charges and on the amount of the bond, you may go home with an ankle bracelet for remaining under house confinement until your court date. An ankle bracelet is placed on you to make sure you do not run for avoiding court and your charges. You should know that if your bond is high and you sign it as a PR, you may still be asked to wear an ankle bracelet even if you are considered a flight risk. Some offenders are asked to report to a probation office and must also pay a fee each month when they sign a PR bond.
Knowing more about what to expect at your arraignment can help you better prepare for it. If you are worried about getting a criminal defense attorney because you cannot afford it, you will get one appointed at your arraignment. Be sure to discuss all the details of your arrest with a criminal lawyer like Robert A Murray. Never hold back any facts or tell a lie when it comes to your attorney because he or she cannot help you without knowing the truth and all the facts.