Anyone arrested in Manhattan on criminal charges should be arraigned within 24 hours. During the arraignment, which is the legal process of bringing the arrested person before a criminal court judge. Decisions made during the arraignment could have far-reaching consequences that affect the outcome of the case.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and are now scheduled for an arraignment, it is important know what to expect during this process. This will help to ensure that your rights are upheld during the procedure. Hiring an experienced Manhattan criminal arraignment lawyer puts you at an advantage of having your rights protected.
After the Arrest
Typically, one of two things happens to you or a loved one after being arrested. One, you can be released by the police after being processed. If so, you receive a document that advises you of your date to appear in court.
Known as a Desk Appearance Ticket, or DAT, this allows you to avoid remaining in jail for hours until your case is brought before a judge. This would spare you the unpleasant experience of sitting in a jail cell in central booking while you wait to see the judge.
Issuing the DAT is at the sole discretion of the police. The other thing that can happen is you remain in police custody until it is time to appear before the criminal court judge. Generally, open warrants, open cases, felonies and domestic violence cases are not given DATs.
Since issuing the DAT is up to the police, having a lawyer who knows how to speak with the police as soon as possible helps to ensure you or your loved one will receive a DAT.
Remember that the DAT does not mean the criminal prosecution of your case ends. This is merely your get-out-of-jail notice until the date of your arraignment.
The Arraignment Process
The judicial process where a defendant is formally charged with a crime has several purposes. Understanding each is beneficial to navigating Manhattan’s criminal court system.
First, an arraignment gives you an opportunity to be informed of the charges being brought against you and your legal rights going forward. Second, this is the time when the judge can issue interim orders that remain in place until your case is resolved. Typically, these orders are related to the case and may involve:
• Issuing orders of protection in favor of victims
• Surrendering passports
• Driver’s license suspension
The third purpose of an arraignment is to give you an opportunity to resolve the matter before going further. With felony cases, no settlement is offered at an arraignment based on jurisdictional reasons. However, misdemeanors and violations could be resolved at that time.
Either the prosecutor or the judge can make offers to settle the case. Therefore, having an attorney present who knows the law is vitally important.
In some cases, people unwittingly accept offers that left them with lifelong criminal records. Others agreed to depositions that adversely affected their case because they did not have an attorney present who would have advised them to not accept the offer.
The most important part of the arraignment process is to have bail set. This is the money that has to be paid to secure your or your loved one’s release. Bail is used to make sure you return to court on the assigned date. If bail is not paid, you will remain in jail while the case is pending, even through the trial no matter how long it lasts.
Let a Manhattan Criminal Arraignment Lawyer Protect Your Rights
During the arraignment process, you always have a right to have an attorney present on your behalf. Make sure you are represented by a criminal arraignment lawyer who can competently negotiate so you receive the best outcome.
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