An arraignment is held for various reasons. One is to determine the accused person’s situation is regarding a lawyer. When a lawyer is hired in before an arraignment, the accused person may file a notice of appearance letting the Court, the Prosecution, the clerk’s office, and all interested parties know about the status of their attorney. This is filed in writing before a hearing.
An arraignment may also take place to formally read the charges out to an accused person as a way to inform them of what they are charged with. The main role of a Ft. Lauderdale auto theft attorney at an arraignment is to supply you with the representation you deserve. To learn more about what an attorney could do for you, get in touch with one of our skilled auto theft lawyers at Leifert & Leifert today.
State’s Attorney Office
When a police officer makes an arrest, the arresting officer(s) would make a presentation to the State Attorney’s Office. The State Attorney’s Office should make a decision as to how the government proceeds regarding a person’s criminal charge.
The Attorney’s Office also has the ability to reduce charges should they feel the need to. If the Attorney’s Office decides to change or add more charges, you would be formally informed at an arraignment.
Waving the Reading of Charges in Open Court
In Florida, the process of reading the charges in open Court may be waived. For example, if you were put on notice as to your charges in advance of the arraignment, it serves no benefit for you to go into Court, stand before a Judge, and have the charges read to you. It takes up the Court’s time that can be used otherwise by a Judge. In this case, the role of a Ft. Lauderdale auto theft attorney at an arraignment would be to convince the Court to not real the charges aloud.
Waiving the reading of the charges in open Court limits your exposure to the Court, sit in a criminal Courtroom, and stand before a Judge to have the charges read to you. It decreases the amount of stress and stigma that might be associated with one being seen in the criminal Courthouse or Courtroom.
How to Plea to a Charge
Once your charges have been formally read aloud, the Court asks what the plea is to the charges. It is common practice to enter a plea of not guilty at the arraignment. That keeps your options open for discovery, investigation, and possible resolutions. The three pleas available to an individual at their arraignment are:
- No Contest
- Not guilty
Pleading guilty is an admission that the crime was committed. After pleading guilty, you would go to sentencing after that. No-contest is a way to resolve the case without admitting guilt. When someone pleads no-contest, they go directly to sentencing. A plea of not guilty keeps the case open to conduct discovery, investigate defenses, negotiate for a resolution, or go to trial.
Importance of Retaining a Lawyer
The role of a Ft. Lauderdale auto theft attorney at an arraignment involves filling the appropriate documentation when necessary, notify the Courthouse that they are on the case, wave any procedural right to have the charges read in Court, and enter a peal in writing. If allowed, the attorney could try to cancel an arraignment and cause the accused person to have their charges read aloud to them in prison. Consider the knowledge necessary to follow the steps of an arraignment, it may be worth contacting one of our attorneys at Leifert & Leifert for legal assistance.