Arraignment is one of many steps in the prosecution of a felony in North Carolina. This blog provides some insight into what an arraignment actually is and what a criminal defendant should expect at her arraignment.
What happens at arraignment??
At your felony arraignment, a judge formally informs you of your charges in open court and you must either plead guilty or not guilty. This phase of a felony criminal case takes place many months after arrest. If you plead not guilty, your case will be put on the trial route. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced, and your criminal case will be complete.
At a felony arraignment in which you plead guilty, you will be pleading guilty pursuant to a plea agreement. By this point, the defendant will have made a decision as to whether or not to take a plea deal. The criminal defense lawyer will have received all discovery and will have advised the client on the strength of the state’s case as well as the strength of any defenses that the client may have. To read about taking a plea deal, click here.
At the arraignment stage of a felony, the criminal defendant has already been indicted. This means that he has been formally charged. Indictment comes toward the beginning of a case. Most of the time, a person is arrested and has a couple of court appearances before he is indicted. However, in some cases, indictment happens before arrest.
To learn more about this process, check out our blog on probable cause and grand jury indictment by clicking here.
If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options. Gilles Law has criminal defense attorneys practicing both state and federal criminal defense in both North Carolina and South Carolina.