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Do I Need a Lawyer at My Arraignment?

September 26, 2014 New York Lawyers

In criminal cases, defendants should have an attorney at every stage of the proceedings, because the stakes are so high. You do not want to end up with a conviction because you failed to take the proper steps to find an attorney.

An arraignment is what happens after an arrest. An arraignment is a court proceeding where a criminal defendant appears before a judge and enters a plea of not guilty. When the defendant pleads not guilty, the judge may take several steps. The judge may set a date for the next appearance or deadline in the case. The judge will consider whether or not the defendant is eligible for bail. The court may appoint an attorney for the defendant. The judge may also ask the defendant whether he or she wants the case to move forward within a certain period of time or not.

It may be possible for you to attend the arraignment, plead not guilty, and ask the judge for a low amount of bail. However, it’s always better to have an attorney to handle this for you. The attorney knows criminal law and procedures in criminal cases, and is an advocate on your behalf throughout the case. If the attorney can enter your case at the very beginning, it can be much better for you later. If you can’t afford an attorney, ask the court to appoint one for you.



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