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WHAT OCCURS AT AN ARRAIGNMENT?

Posted: August 10, 2017

Once you are arrested for a crime in Missouri, an arraignment is scheduled for you to appear in court where a judge and the prosecution will read the charge filed against you. The judge will ask you to acknowledge that you are—in fact—the person that has been charged and address the maximum penalties for your charge.

The most important part of this brief hearing is that the judge will ask whether you wish to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges against you. Additionally, the arraignment will determine if you have retained an attorney and who it is. If you miss your arraignment, this will lead to an arrest warrant being issued against you.

HOW SHOULD I PLEAD?

Even if you committed the crime, you do not have to plead guilty. While it may appear logical to plead guilty in order to be held accountable for your actions, most people plead not guilty in order to give their attorney and the prosecution enough time to negotiate a plea deal to negotiate a reduction in penalties or the charges themselves. However, if you decide to plead guilty, the judge may enter a sentence at arraignment.

SEEK EXPERIENCED LEGAL REPRESENTATION FROM OUR SPRINGFIELD CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

At Worsham Law Firm, we are committed to helping you obtain the best results possible. Our Springfield criminal defense lawyers can investigate your arrest, examine the evidence available, interview potential witnesses, and build a strong defense strategy to protect your rights and freedom.

If you have been arrested for a crime in Missouri, contact us and request a free consultation today.

Categories: Criminal Defense