After you’re arrested, booked, and the initial bail phase of the criminal process occurs – the first stage of the courtroom proceedings happen – the arraignment. This is a very typical process – where a person whose charged with a crime is called before the criminal judge.
In case your a family member, you should try to look into the central booking and arraignment website to see where your family member is. In some cases, you can hire an NYC arraignment lawyer who just handles this for you.
The judge will read the charges against the person, and ask the defendant if he/she has an attorney or needs the help of a court appointed attorney. The judge will ask the defendant how he/she pleads, and will then decide whether to set bail, or alter the bail amount – based on the defendant. The arraignment is where the judge will announce the date of future proceedings in the case, such as the preliminary hearing, the pre-trial motions, and the actual trial itself.
Also at this preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will give you/your attorney copies of the police report and all other documents that are pertinent to your case. In a DUI/DWI case, the prosecutor can provide the defendant with lab reports of any blood, or other toxicology/chemical tests which were performed and will be used in the case.
If you’re being accused of a crime, you have a constitutional right to the assistance of attorney. If you wish to be represented by an attorney but can’t hire one, then the government will provide you one at no cost. Usually, these are called public defenders – who are responsible for protecting you at all stages of the criminal defense process.
At this stage, once you complete the arrangement, your goal should be to get yourself a private criminal defense attorney. Most attorneys will offer a risk free consultation.