What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is a court hearing where a criminal defendant is advised of the charges being brought against him or her. During this proceeding, the criminal defendant is asked to enter an initial plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. After the defendant’s plea is entered, the court will set a review and/or settlement date.

A criminal defendant is normally required to attend the arraignment. If the defendant fails to attend the arraignment, additional criminal charges, fines, and/or a warrant may be issued by the court.

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