What is an Arraignment? Understanding What to Expect at Your New Jersey Court Arraignment

What’s an arraignment?

An arraignment is the first court-based process that takes place after the arrest, booking, and initial bail phase of the criminal process. During an arraignment, a criminal court judge will:

  • read the criminal charges and ask the defendant if he or she has an attorney.
  • maintain how the defendant “pleads to” the criminal charges: “guilty”, “not guilty”, or “no contest”.
  • decide whether to alter the bail amount or release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (ROR).

Future case proceedings, including the preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, and trial will also be announced at your arraignment. An arraignment is a very basic hearing which marks the official start to your case. If you have not hired a lawyer by the date of your arraignment, you should act quickly every thing that happened immediately following your arraignment will have a direct impact on the outcome of your case.

Criminal defense cases are highly complex. If you have been involved in a criminal incident, you need legal representation to make the best case possible and ensure that your side of the story is heard in court. To learn more about your criminal case feel free to contact The Morano Law Firm at 201-598-5019 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.