Arraignment on a promise to appear for arrest warrant

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Other Information. If you have been advised that a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest, what can you expect? First, it is important to understand what a bench warrant is and the reasons it might be issued. It can arise in three main ways. First, a bench warrant can only be issued when a person has been properly served with a summons to appear in court and thereafter fails to appear at the designated time and place.

A bench warrant can also be issued when a judge ordered a person to personally appear in court at a designated time and place, but the person did not.

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In our experience, having bail ready is prudent, so contacting a bail bonds company is smart. The bail bond company will be able to tell you, if you do not already know, what the bail amount associated with the bench warrant is. The bail bondsman or woman can then guide you through the necessary paperwork for being ready to post a bond to secure your release. This does not always happen, however. Certain judges and certain prosecutors may not be so accommodating, especially if the offense is serious or the client has a history or not appearing in court when ordered.

In the large majority of cases, the answer is no.

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However, if the charges are serious, the police certainly can seek out the defendant. Arraignments in New York City and its five boroughs are confusing and stressful for the person being arrested.

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Friends and family will often feel the stress as well while they call the lawyers and scramble to find out information while are desperate to find a way to help. The procedures in this article are dominant in New York City including all five boroughs. However, keep in mind that there is variation among the boroughs and the procedures outside of New York City may vary slightly.

An arraignment is not a trial. No witnesses are called, and no evidence is presented.

The arresting officer does not need to appear, nor does the complaining witness. The guilt or innocence of the accused is NOT decided during arraignment.


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The defense lawyer will be able to negotiate the terms of the bail, and, in certain occasions, to reduce it significantly. In New York City, defendants are brought before a judge for arraignment within 24 hours of arrest. If the defendant is charged with a violation or misdemeanor , they may plead guilty at arraignment. In some cases, a defendant accused of a felony crime is offered a misdemeanor plea at arraignment.

While many defendants plead guilty at arraignments, guilty pleas can also be entered later in the case. The defendant can plead guilty to all of the charges; some of the charters to plead to a lesser charge if offered by the District Attorney. If the defendant pleads guilty, the judge hands down the sentence. When there is a felony and no misdemeanor offered, a defendant is not asked to enter a plea during arraignment.

Felonies are crimes for which more than one year of imprisonment may be imposed. In a very few felony cases, plea offers may be made at the arraignment. Otherwise, the presiding judge will adjourn the case pending action by a Grand Jury.


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The case will remain in Part F for the rest of the proceedings before to indictment or a misdemeanor disposition. Cases fall under the jurisdiction of Criminal Court until a Grand Jury indictment is obtained. Defendants who retain a private attorney before arraignment have a chance to derail the case against them for several reasons. In New York, intake prosecutors analyze cases to make sure there is evidence of guilt and that prosecution is in the interest of justice. Often though, the caseload is so heavy that reviews are perfunctory and weak cases sometimes slip into the judicial pipeline.

If an attorney who is well known to the courtroom can convince the prosecutor of the weaknesses in the case, the case may be thrown out. Dockets and schedules are crowded in New York. Agreeing to dispose quickly of weak cases, prosecutors can spend the little time they have devoted to more serious cases. Also, getting rid of weak cases early in the process saves the prosecutor the embarrassment of showing up in court with a weak case.

That can be stretched to 72 hours if the individual was arrested on the weekend and unable to see a judge until Monday. Most people arrested must be released if they are not arraigned within 24 hours. A pre-arraignment conference is held before the return of an indictment. The pre-arraignment conference is scheduled by the Criminal Division office in the borough where the offense occurred.

Discovery and other evidence is available to the defendant and their attorney prior to the conference. This gives your lawyer or, defense team an opportunity to look at and review the evidence. As a result of this initial discovery, a defendant may decide to try to negotiate a plea bargain.

The Arraignment Process in Rhode Island | Attorney Matt Marin

The defendant may also plead guilty to the charges. When a defense attorney waives the arraignment, it only means that the defendant is aware of the charges and is entering a plea of not guilty. Formal arraignment procedures include having the indictment read aloud and hearing the charges put on the record. Waiving the arraignment accomplishes that without having to take the time to go to court and go through those procedures.

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The defendant and his attorney will normally be permitted to waive the arraignment if:. If the judge does set bail, then the accused will be held in custody at Rikers Island until either the case is over, or there is a change to the bail for a variety of reasons. If the individual persists and fails to show up to court within 30 days, the person could be charged with the additional crime of bail jumping.

If it will take up to a year or more to get the case ready for trial, then the person will be in jail for one year. Talk you your criminal lawyer to file the proper motions to reduce this waiting period.