Because criminal law is inherently complicated and the judicial system can be unpredictable, people who are facing charges should always take them seriously. Even if you were the victim of a false arrest or you are certain the prosecutor does not have any substantial evidence against you, hurdles that threaten your very freedom can arise at every step of the proceedings.
If you are facing charges, it is wise to learn about the various stages of the criminal process so you have at least some idea of what to expect along the way. Fortunately, you will not have to go through these proceedings alone if you hire a seasoned DWI attorney to defend you.
Turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law to discuss the charges you are facing with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Westchester County. The legal system can be unpredictable, but Mr. DeUrso can help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your interests or ultimately hurt your case. Call 914-772-8614 to schedule a consultation.
What Is an Arraignment?
An arraignment is a kind of legal hearing, but it is not an evidentiary trial that requires lengthy preparations. Instead, it is the first step in the criminal defense process.
Every jurisdiction has its own procedures regarding arraignments, but the purpose of the hearing is essentially same everywhere. At this initial court appearance, which usually occurs within 24 hours of arrest, a judge will typically review the charges that the defendant is facing, ask him or her to enter a plea, and set bail.
Should You Call an Attorney before or after the Arraignment?
If you are facing criminal charges, it is wise to call an attorney as soon as possible. Even if the arraignment procedure seems simple enough, having a lawyer by your side from the start will ultimately serve to protect your best interests. For example, in addition to advising you on how to plea, your attorney may be able to negotiate for more favorable bail terms on your behalf.
In some cases, a lawyer can even help you skip the arraignment altogether. If you are aware of the charges you are facing and wish to enter a plea of not guilty, your attorney can request to waive the arraignment. This will allow you to skip the formal hearing or at least a portion of it before your case proceeds to trial.
What happens after the arraignment will depend on the charges you are facing and the plea that you entered. Felony charges will proceed to the preliminary hearing and grand jury, for example, while misdemeanor charges will head to the pre-trial stage.
Regardless of the path your case takes, there will be deadlines that you must meet along the way. Fortunately, if you have quality legal counsel guiding you through every stage, you will never have to worry about missing a deadline or making an error that compromises your defense.
If you need a DWI attorney in Westchester County, turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Call 914-772-8614 to schedule a case evaluation prior to the arraignment. You can learn more about fighting drunk driving charges in New York by visiting USAttorneys.com.