What is Arraignment?

Arraignment in criminal law is one of the first formal court appearances in which charges are read aloud to the accused and the accused is asked how he or she would like to plead (guilty or not guilty). At this point, the accused individual is generally in custody and may already be aware of the charges.

What is Federal Court Arraignment?

In federal cases, a number of major events have already taken place, including investigation by federal agents, a grand jury investigation and indictment, the arrest, and a first appearance. If you received a target letter prior to indictment, you are already aware of the federal charges against you.

Note: The felony arraignment hearing is the first time you have an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against you. It is crucial to retain counsel at this stage of a case. An experienced Raleigh criminal defense lawyer can help improve the outcome of a case.

Steps of the Federal Arraignment Process

There are three general steps in the federal arraignment process:

  1. You are informed of the charges against you (although you may already be aware of the charges because of an earlier preliminary hearing)
  2. You are asked to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty)
  3. You are either released on bail or remanded to custody pending trial

In addition, court personnel will schedule upcoming dates for different stages of your case, including pretrial motions and hearings and the federal trial date itself. If you reached an agreement with the federal prosecutor as a result of federal plea bargaining, the arraignment hearing is a point at which the agreement can be submitted to the judge.

State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.

In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.

State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.

Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to an alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.

State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed.

After conducting an investigation and communicating with prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.

State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death.

Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.

State v. J.G.:

Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.