Criminal Proceedings and Arraignment Lawyer Serving the Boston and Quincy Region
Charged with a crime? Talk to Keegan Law before your arraignment
When a person is arrested and then charged with a crime, the next step in criminal proceedings will be the arraignment. This will be the defendant’s first court appearance, and the court will inform the defendant of the charges he or she faces. The defendant will also need to enter a plea, which is to say he or she must respond to the charges with “guilty” or “not guilty.” At the arraignment, the judge is also likely to address the issue of bail.
Arraignment proceedings can be complex, and entering a plea is a matter that should never be taken lightly. With a skilled Boston criminal defense attorney to prepare you for and represent you at your arraignment, you can feel confident that your interests are being properly presented and protected. To better provide you with the guidance you need in the face of criminal charges, we have included a basic outline of arraignment proceedings in Massachusetts. In addition to reviewing the following, please feel free to call our offices at any time for a confidential consultation and review of your case.
An Overview of Arraignment Proceedings
If you have been arrested and the prosecution has decided to move forward with charges, your arraignment will be your first criminal court appearance. Because arraignments take place in open court one after another, they can happen fairly quickly. Preparation is therefore of the utmost importance.
The first step will be for the court to read the charges against the defendant. Your name will be called and you must come to the front of the court, at which point the judge will read the charges against you. The judge will then ask you if you are being represented by an attorney, and you can answer that you have an attorney or may request a court-appointed lawyer.
Next, the defendant will be asked to enter a plea. Most of the time, a plea of not guilty is entered, often because the defendant has not had sufficient time to consult with his or her attorney and determine the best course of action, such as whether to accept an offered plea bargain. Entering a plea of not guilty can buy you precious time to review every aspect of your case with your attorney.
The third and final step will be for the court to determine the conditions of the defendant’s release. At this point, you may be released on your own recognizance, which means you will not have to post bail, or bail may be set and must be paid before you can be released. To determine the conditions of your release, the judge may consider the severity of the alleged crime, whether you are considered a “flight risk,” your family situation, any past criminal record and more.
A Boston Criminal Lawyer Can Help
Interested in finding out more about criminal court proceedings and the steps that a lawyer can take to protect your constitutional rights in these matters? From the moment you are accused of a crime, you are in need of legal counsel to ensure you have the best opportunity at a positive case result. At Keegan Law, we are former police officers and prosecutors who understand both sides of criminal cases in Massachusetts. We can offer insight regarding arraignment proceedings and all legal matters involved in the criminal court process to help you make informed choices about your case. Call (617) 799-7644 today or click here to contact us to see how we can help.