After a person is arrested, their first appearance in court is arraignment. During this legal proceeding, the charges are formally announced, and the defendant can enter a plea. Most jurisdictions require an arraignment in a case that carries a potential jail sentence, while others only hold them for felony cases. According to a Singapore criminal lawyer, procedures may differ by location, but the purpose is typically the same. Below is an explanation of what takes place during an arraignment.
Advising the Defendant of Their Constitutional Rights
In many places, a defendant has advised of their constitutional rights before the arraignment starts, in much the same way the police did when the suspect’s Miranda rights were read. Some courts prefer to do this in a group setting, while the judge directly advises clients in other places. In some places, a person has a right to representation at the arraignment, which means the process must be stopped when a suspect requests an attorney.
Reading the Charges
During the arraignment, the court official or judge will read the charges as they were filed by the prosecutor’s office. If the client already knows the charges, they can waive their right to be advised of them and move onto the plea entry phase.
Once the suspect’s charges have been read, they get the chance to enter a guilty, not guilty or no contest plea. Generally, a criminal lawyer in Singapore advises a client to plead not guilty, which requires the prosecutor to present all their evidence. A client can change their plea later if they decide it’s not in their best interest to fight the charges.
Setting Release Conditions
In some areas, a judge sets bail and other release conditions during the arraignment process. After the hearing is over, the defendant is either released or taken into custody until the case concludes.
For years, Bishop Law Corp has been working to protect the rights of those charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. If a person needs help defending themselves against criminal charges, they can call the office.