No matter what circumstances led to your arrest on criminal charges in Virginia, your case will proceed through the criminal court system according to a series of procedural rules. Among them is the requirement for an arraignment. You may have heard the term when watching TV crime shows but, if you are a defendant in a real-life criminal case, you need to fully understand what happens at your arraignment hearing. An experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyer can help you every step of the way, and a general overview of the process may be useful.
Your arraignment hearing is the first appearance you make in court after arrest and booking. The court will read the official charges against you, which include factual allegations gathered by law enforcement and the specific provisions of law that you are accused of violating. In addition:
- A judge will ask if you understand the allegations against you;
- You will be informed of your rights to be represented by an attorney;
- The judge will ask whether you intend to hire a lawyer, want to request the services of a court-appointed public defender, or want to represent yourself; and,
- The court may address issues of bond, in cases where it would be appropriate to allow you out on bail.
Talk to a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer About Arraignment
Arraignment is among the most critical stages of a criminal case, so consult with a criminal defense attorney at Shannon & Associates, P.C. as soon as possible after your arrest. You can reach our Chesapeake, VA office by calling (757) 228-5529 or visit our website online for more information.