On the Defendant’s Arraignment
On the defendant’s actual arraignment in front of a superior court upon his or her indictment, the court needs to immediately inform him or her, or cause him or her to in fact be informed in presence of the court, of the charge or charges against him or her, and the district attorney also needs to ensure that he or she is given a copy of the indictment.
On the Defendant’s Rights
The defendant has a right to the aid of counsel at the arraignment, and also at every subsequent stage of the entire action, and, if he or she appears on said arraignment without any counsel, he or she has the following rights: to an adjournment for the sole purpose of obtaining some sort of counsel, to communicate, completely free of charge, either by letter or by phone provided by the specific law enforcement facility where the defendant’s being held to a phone number located somewhere in the United States or Puerto Rico, for the sole purpose of obtaining some sort of counsel, and also informing a relative or a friend that he or she has in fact been charged with a crime, and to have counsel that’s assigned by the court in any case where he or she is financially unable to obtain this on their own.
On Expectations of the Court
The court must in fact inform the defendant of all their rights as specified in subdivision two. The court also must accord the defendant some opportunity to exercise these rights, and must itself take such a kind of affirmative action as deemed necessary to make this happen.
If the defendant actually wants to proceed without the aid of any sort of counsel, the court needs to allow him or her to do so as long as the court is satisfied that he or she made this decision with full knowledge of the significance that entailed, but if the court is not satisfied that this is the case, it in fact may not proceed until the defendant is provided with some sort of counsel, either of his or her own choosing, or by assignment. A defendant who decides to proceed at the arraignment without any sort of counsel does not waive his or her right to counsel, and the court must inform him or her that he or she continues to have this right, as well as all of the rights specified in subdivision two, all of which are necessary to make it happen, and that he or she can exercise said rights at any stage of the action.
On the arraignment, the court, unless it actually intends to make a final disposition of the action immediately after, must, as provided in the previous section 530.40, issue a securing order which releases the defendant on his or her own recognizance, or fixing bail, or else committing him or her to the custody of the sheriff for his or her future appearance in said action.
As you can see, it’s vitally important to understand the intricacies of the law in the state of New York in order to allow the law to work in your favor. This remains the same whether you’re currently facing charges, know someone who’s currently facing charges, or are just concerned with protecting yourself legally. While the law can seem confusing and complicated at first glance, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let us help you to better understand the letter of the law.
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