Have you received a misdemeanor arraignment hearing notice? If yes, then you might be thinking about an arraignment misdemeanor and what happens at an arraignment for a misdemeanor.
All these legal defense procedures are because they not only affect your life in many respects but also make you think about what you should do in these situations.
In short, if you face such cases, don’t get your panties in a bunch because I’m here to get you out of such troubling situations. I’m your attorney specialist having a couple of years of experience in solving compelling cases like this misdemeanor case, and I can figure out the ambiguities resulting from such cases.
Accordingly, I’ve tried my best to help you secure your legal rights and provide answers to your several queries, like what is a misdemeanor arraignment and what happens at an arraignment for a misdemeanor.
It’d be good first to give an overview of what you can expect at an arraignment for a misdemeanor. So at arraignment, you come across your legal rights, hiring a professional attorney, posting bail, etc.
Consequently, scroll down and find detailed solutions to all your confusion regarding the misdemeanor arraignment.
What is an Arraignment Misdemeanor?
The misdemeanor arraignment hearing is the first official legal hearing in the court. During this arraignment hearing, you (the defendant) are informed about the charges against you, and you’re charged with a misdemeanor offense. Therefore, the defendant is asked to enter a plea to all or some of the charges.
Besides the charges and plea, at an arraignment misdemeanor, it is also decided by the judge to either release the defendant by bail before the trial or not. You can check Class A Misdemeanor In Indiana, so you don’t have to face any difficulty at Arraignment.
What happens at an Arraignment for a Misdemeanor?
As you now understand what a misdemeanor arraignment hearing is, it is time to know what happens at an arraignment for a misdemeanor.
If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, it’s important to know what to expect at your arraignment hearing. During the arraignment, the judge will read the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Additionally, the judge will inform you of your constitutional rights, such as:
- Hire a professional attorney.
- Rights to adjustments in the bail.
- Face the witnesses.
- Speed up the process of trial.
- To either plead guilty or not guilty.
Keep reading ahead to know what happens at a misdemeanor arraignment if you plead guilty or not guilty. Sometimes people also ask about What Happens After Arraignment.
How does a Guilty Plea at a Misdemeanor Arraignment affect your Case?
If you plead guilty at a misdemeanor arraignment hearing, your case will not be moved to a trial process. At this moment, you will be informed about the sentence as well.
How does a No Contest Plea at a Misdemeanor Arraignment affect your Case?
The no-contest plea can be considered somewhat similar to the guilty plea. But the only difference between these two terms is that the no-contest means you accept the sentence but are not guilty of a crime.
How does a not Guilty Plea at a Misdemeanor Arraignment affect your Case?
If you don’t enter a plea to guilty at a misdemeanor arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a pretrial examination, which may prove harmful regarding the charges to be filed against you.
However, often in the cases of no guilty, you (criminal defendant) can be released from jail by a law called “Own Recognizance.” It means you can go out for now, but you must return by the judge’s call and attend the court hearings.
Also Read: Can Misdemeanors Be Expunged?
What happens at a Misdemeanor Arraignment if you Request Bail?
I’ve seen a lot of defendants who don’t want to plead guilty but yet want to be let out of jail for a while. Then in these cases, I would like to suggest those defendants that you can issue a request for bail.
The acceptance of the bail depends upon the judge. If he declares it appropriate and accepts it, you will be sent to jail for some time until the bail amount has been submitted, and you will finally get bail. But if unfortunately, the judge does not accept your bail, you have no right to call yourself released from jail through bail.
For your kind information, the judge examines many factors like how severe your case is and whether the charges against you are sufficient or not so charges can be dropped at an Arraignment Hearing.
Need for a Professional Attorney
Irrespective of the situation at a misdemeanor arraignment, you can get going with court proceedings even without a personal attorney if you are charged with a misdemeanor but cannot afford a private attorney. In such circumstances, you can seek assistance from a public ombudsperson.
However, you will need a personal attorney if you are charged with a petty misdemeanor. Being a professional attorney, I’d advise you to hire an experienced attorney for a compelling presentation on your behalf.
While you continue reading, you can also read if Charges Be Dropped After Indictment
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Attorney
Regardless of the type of case, a professional attorney can be helpful for you in many ways. A few of these methods are covered here.
- A professional attorney can be proved valuable to your misdemeanor arraignment. The attorney can make the best presentations to get you bail and even help you release from custody for some time.
- In most misdemeanor cases, the attorney can attend the hearings without needing your presence in court.
- When your case is scheduled for a pretrial, then this is your attorney who can request some time for gathering strong evidence on your behalf and investigating the case in detail with you (the defendant). As a result of which, you can have a chance to win the case.
- The criminal attorney can make a way to get relief from the trial by carrying out some practical arguments with the prosecutor.
What happens after a Misdemeanor Arraignment Hearing?
When you (the defendant) have been indicted with a misdemeanor charge, then after the arraignment hearing, a pretrial proceeding for your case will be scheduled. You and your attorney negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor during this process. If you are accused of a lesser offense or multiple minor crimes, then the prosecutor will want you to accept a plea to one of the charges to dismiss the other charges.
But if the prosecutor, unfortunately, does not proceed to a plea bargain, you have to prepare yourself for several pretrials. However, if you still don’t see any possibility of a plea bargain, your case will be moved to a court trial.
What happens after a misdemeanor arraignment in case of a felony?
If you are accused of a felony charge, then after the misdemeanor arraignment hearing, the following conferences will be scheduled:
- Preliminary examination.
- Probable cause hearing.
- Status conference.
- Bench hearing/conference.
Now, no matter which of the above conferences comes in your case, their primary purpose is to provide you with an opportunity to win a plea bargain. As for my prior attorney experience, you may be done up with a plea deal to this point. But if your plea is still not accepted despite all these, there is a last but not the least option of “bench trial.” So look forward to knowing what a bench trial is.
Also Check: What Is a Gross Misdemeanor?
The Bench Trial
In most simple words, the bench trial means a formal hearing between the judge, you, and your attorney. During this trial, the judge determines whether the defendant is innocent or guilty.
The judge will determine it based on a few factors, like whether the charges against you are strong enough to support the case against you or whether you have committed a significant crime or just a minor misdemeanor.
If none of these conferences to plead guilty works for you, then a legal court bench will be selected. After its selection, a formal court trial will be set up.
What happens if a defendant doesn’t appear in a misdemeanor arraignment?
If a defendant doesn’t appear in a misdemeanor arraignment, then their chances to plead guilty and drop charges could be canceled.
Is there always jail time for a misdemeanor charge?
If you are charged with minor theft, reckless driving, or fundamental assault, there is no jail time for such charges.
Can you talk to a judge before the formal court hearing?
No, you can’t talk to the judge before the court hearings because talking to a judge out of the court is called “ex parte communications” and is considered illegal.
How long can it take for you to be released on bail?
The posting usually takes about 3 to 5 hours on average, and then the entire bail process depends upon the jail where you are in custody.
Can you be suggested to jail after an arraignment?
You can be suggested to jail after arraignment if your bail is not accepted or if your posting is taking time.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.