Published on February 20, 2023

What is an Arraignment?

If you have been arrested in Miami for an alleged crime or received a summons indicating you are being charged criminally, stress at this time is understandably high, and you may be wondering what will happen next. In order for justice to be carried out, the court trial process must take place, and the next step will be your arraignment before a judge. Now is the time to make the wisest choice and hire a reputable Miami criminal defense lawyer who will be dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for your case and, ultimately, your future. 

Arraignment Comes First

Shortly after your arrest, the charges against you will be stated at the arraignment, which will be the first hearing conducted during the trial process. This is the initial hearing for your criminal trial. Essentially, this can be summed up as being the day in which the crimes you are being charged with are officially stated. 

This is the day when you, along with your attorney and possibly the prosecutor, will appear in a court of law before a judge for the first time to hear your rights, charges, and maximum possible penalties or consequences if you are found guilty. The judge will read the charges you have been accused of, along with the maximum punishment you could face according to the extent of the law. No judgment will be made on this day, although you will state your plea, whether it is not guilty or otherwise. Your lawyer is the best advisor to help you decide what to plea. This is simply the first court date to officially state the charges on which your attorney will defend you. 

Stating Your Charges and Rights

The arraignment date is one of the times you will be told your rights by an official of the law. Some of the phrases and words used for this may be new to you and this is yet another reason why having a good attorney on your side to guide you will be in your best interest. It should be noted that judges in any United States court of law are neutral parties in the process of serving justice. 

At your arraignment hearing, the intention is to lay out all the details of the trial. This means the judge will state what your rights are, such as having the right to an attorney to defend your case, a fair and just trial, and the right to state your plea. On this day, the judge is not there to make a final judgment on your charges, nor will they handle requests for leniency or other such considerations. This day is meant to simply state the conditions that will be dealt with during the trial. 

Maximum Penalties

Laws are written in ways so that if and when they are broken, the penalties one is held to for their actions have a limit in severity. During your arraignment, the statement regarding the maximum penalty for the crimes you have been accused of will be laid out. Remember that just as the final judgment is not being determined on this day, the penalties you may or may not ultimately face will be determined at a future time. 

Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney will help you become aware of possible penalties, such as jail and prison time or fines you may be required to pay. Knowing these potential outcomes prior to your hearing can bring relief since it will not be a surprise when the judge states what could happen. The consequences of being found guilty of a crime are overwhelming to think about, and consulting with your attorney will give you the best chance of minimizing potential penalties. 

How You Plea

You will be asked by the judge to state your plea on your arraignment date. The lawyer you hire will provide advice and guidance on how to plea, depending upon your charges and many important details of the overall case. This is only one reason why it is very important to choose a criminal defense lawyer who has a strong background representing many who have been in your shoes. Choosing the right attorney can mean all the difference in what these charges will mean for your life at the end of the trial process. If you have been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to contact the most reputable attorney you can find while researching the best outcome in your case.

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