When you have been charged with a Criminal offense in California, you will be summoned to court and must appear before the Judge. In many cases, a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can make an appearance on your behalf. The first appearance in court is referred to as an Arraignment.
During the arraignment the person charged will receive their arrest report. The arrest report will contain the officer’s report on the arrest and the circumstances and facts surrounding it. Additionally the Prosecution must present any evidence they have regarding the case. Prior to the arraignment, you are not able to know what the Prosecution has learned based on the arrest report and what the arresting officer has reported.
Additionally, the person charged will receive a plea bargain from the prosecution. A plea bargain can be described as a settlement offer asking you to plead guilty to a charge and the sentence you will receive if you do so. After having spoken to the Prosecutor regarding a potential sentence, you will have to appear before the Judge. The Judge will then ask you to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.