Articles Posted in Arraignment

We have discussed extensively the varying Constitutional rights afforded to each person standing a criminal trial. These rights are very important and designed to protect each individual from being wrongfully convicted, or having their rights taken away without a complete understanding of the process.

That is why in a criminal case it is extremely important to consult with and recommended to hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney. For a criminal defense attorney, this is their day to day experience and knowledge. They know whether waiving any rights is in your best interest, or if it will serve to hurt you later.

One of these important rights is the right to enter a plea. If you are represented by an attorney, the attorney may enter a plea on your behalf. Each plea will have its own specific procedures. In any case, no lawyer shall ever enter a plea on your behalf without having discussed in length the specific consequences, potential outcomes and charges with you in detail.

When you have been arrested on suspicion of a criminal charge, you are not yet convicted of a crime. Simply being arrested does not mean you are guilty, or that you will be sentenced., it means that officers have a reason to believe that you are guilty of the charge you have been arrested for.

Before you can be found guilty of any crime, you must either plead guilty to the charge, or you must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Only then do you have a conviction on your record.

During the criminal court process, from the point you are arrested, or given a citation, through the completion of your case, you have certain rights. These rights may not be taken away from you at any point in the proceedings, and it is the Court’s obligation to inform you of these rights, whether you are represented by an attorney or not.

The only time it is detrimental to not show up in court for a scheduled hearing is when you are not represented by an attorney. If you completely fail to show up, and do not have an attorney present in Court for you, you run the risk of being charged with a Failure to Appear. A Failure to Appear is a charge on its own and can lead to additional criminal consequences. If you do not have an attorney appearing on your behalf, it is mandatory that you appear in Court on the day you are scheduled to appear.

If you do have an attorney, it will not be detrimental to your case for you to not appear in Court. The Judge will not decide your case more favorably if you are present, and Prosecutor will not take sympathy on you because you made the effort to appear in Court. The attorneys will look at the facts of your case, as will the Judge and they will make an order based on those facts. Your presence does not factor into their decision as to your charges and your potential sentence.

In fact, the prosecutor and the Judge know that you have a job, and that you have obligations outside of court. They know that you have responsibly hired an attorney that will be present on your behalf in Court and that attorney will represent your best interests.

Based on the laws of this country, you have certain rights and protections that are granted to you. The laws are set up so that it must be a significant benefit to society for those rights to be violated.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of having committed unlawful criminal conduct, the officer will list a court date on your citation. This court date is your Arraignment. At the Arraignment the Judge will inform you of all of the rights available to you, will explain the charges against you and the potential consequences, and will ask you to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

One of the most important rights the Judge will state is the right to counsel. You have the right to have a legal professional represent you in Court. This right is important and granted to each and every individual in a criminal trial. It is important because when you are facing criminal charges, there are some significant and serious consequences that you may face. Some consequences may deprive a person of their right to privacy, their right to freedom, and it may even affect their immigrant status in the United States.

If you are appearing in Court for a Pre-Trial, that means that you have already appeared before the Judge once before and pled not guilty. After an arrest has been made, the very first hearing that a person will appear in Court is called the Arraignment.

Several things will happen at the arraignment. The Judge will read the person being charged their rights and will explain to them what the charges are against them and what the full statutory sentence is. One of the important rights the Judge will explain to the person is that they have the right to an attorney. If they do choose to hire an attorney, the arraignment will be continued out thirty days and the person will be asked to appear before the Judge again, this time with an attorney present .

At the arraignment the Prosecutor will offer the person being charged a plea bargain. A plea bargain gives the person a lesser charge, or lesser sentence, in exchange for a guilty plea on that day. The offer is generally a standard offer with no room for negotiation and only stands while the case is at the arraignment stage. The problem with the offer for those that are unrepresented by a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney is that they are not aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their case, and if they will be able to get a better offer than the one they are being offered.

When you have been arrested for the suspicion of having committed a criminal offense, you will be given a court date on which you must appear before a Judge. This first court appearance is called the Arraignment. The arraignment is when the court will read you your rights, and the charges against you. The prosecutor will also give you an offer. You will then be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

Many people are overwhelmed by the whole process and want it to be over as soon as possible. Therefore, they take the offer the prosecutor gives them that first day in court and finish their case. Although, it is a nerve wrecking experience, it is a bad idea to take the first plea that is offered without knowing your rights. There may be defenses available to you, and some weaknesses in your case that could leave a lesser charge or even a dismissal.

Without an attorney, you would not be aware of what the right offer is and what you should accept before entering a guilty plea. You may even be entering a premature plea when you could have gotten a better deal with some negotiation and bargaining.

If you have been arrested and charged on suspicion of having violated a provision of the California Penal code, there will be a set date on which you will be scheduled to appear in Court. This first appearance is referred to as an Arraignment. At the arraignment you will be explained what charges are being brought against you, you will be advised of your rights, and the Judge will ask you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

At this first hearing you will have the opportunity to speak to a Prosecutor and the Prosecutor will define the consequences you will face if you plead guilty at that first appearance. You will then be asked how you would like to proceed. Pleading guilty will conclude your case and you will be sentenced the consequences the Prosecutor has offered.

You also have the option to plead not guilty. If you plead not guilty, the Judge will set another court date referred to as the Pre-Trial. The Pre-Trial will be before another Judge and in another courtroom.

California Penal Code §415 refers to Disturbing the Peace. A charge under PC 415 can be either a misdemeanor or an infraction depending on the facts surrounding the case. However, a PC 415 is generally a lesser charge so that it does not have as harsh of a consequence as other potential sentences. Additionally, a PC415 look more favorable on a criminal record and can be explained more easily than another more serious charge.

Let’s consider an example. Let’s say that David has been charged with a drunk and disorderly conduct under California Penal Code § 647(f). This can be charged as a misdemeanor and possibly a felony. It cannot be charged as an infraction, which is the ideal charge if the case cannot be dismissed. An infraction includes lower fines and no jail sentence as part of its potential sentence. When a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney appears on your behalf at the first court appearance they will be given a standard offer.

This first appearance is called an arraignment. At the arraignment the attorney will be expected to put in a plea on behalf of their client. The main goal at the arraignment is to try and negotiate with the District attorney or the City attorney to reduce the criminal charge or have it dismissed altogether. If the charge can be reduced to an infraction within the statute, the attorney will push the government attorney for that option.

When a person has been arrested for a criminal charge, they will be asked to appear before a criminal Judge. This first appearance is called an arraignment. At the arraignment the Judge will explain the charges brought against the person, and will read them their rights. These rights will include the right to an attorney and the right to a speedy trial among others.

At the arraignment the Judge will also ask the person charged to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The person will also have the opportunity to speak to a Prosecutor and ask about the plea bargain. A plea bargain is an offer made by prosecutor’s in exchange for a guilty plea. The government will offer the person charged a lesser sentence or a reduced charge if they plead guilty and forfeit their right to a trial.

For example, let’s assume that Dan has been charged with driving under the influence. He did not damage any property, or injure another person. He complied with officers, has no prior criminal record and blew a .08 Blood Alcohol Level. Dan’s Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer appears on behalf of Dan and negotiates with the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor gives the lawyer a plea bargain; that if Dan pleads guilty at the arraignment, the government will reduce his charge from driving under the influence to a reckless driving charge.

Many of our clients wonder if they can handle a criminal case on their own, or if an attorney is absolutely necessary. An attorney is a trained professional, and has many years of experience. They handle cases similar to your every day and are familiar with the courtrooms, Judges, Prosecutor’s and most importantly, the law.

When a person has been arrested, the charge is filed with the police station. The officers review the charge and arrest and make the determination of whether it should be sent to the Prosecutors or not. Once it has reached the prosecutor’s office, the prosecution makes the determination of whether the charges will be filed with the Court and the person will be summoned before the Judge.

Before going into Court for an Arraignment before the Judge, it is beneficial to have spoken to the Prosecutor and obtained all documents that would help in preparing a defense on your behalf. Generally, prosecutors do not return phone calls left by those being charged. They deal with hundreds of cases, and they do not have the time to review a file and return calls to those that are requesting police reports and other documents of evidence.

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