Arraignment: What is an Arraignment in the State of Georgia?
This page will define arraignment in order to help those citizens (who have been arrested) understand "what is an arraignment" and "what is a waiver of arraignment." In all states, including Georgia, an arraignment is a typically the first step in the pre-trial, formal process (if facing criminal charges) that a criminal law case takes.
What is an arraignment hearing in Georgia? Arraignment is usually the first step in an arrested person's criminal case. Sometimes it is referred to the "initial hearing" or the "initial appearance in court." For Wikipedia's arraignment definition, click here.
What does "waiving formal arraignment" mean? Those who quickly obtain private legal counsel or an appointed lawyer (which is rare, prior to being arraigned) can pre-file documents that say that the accused person knows his or her charges, and that being arraigned is unnecessary.
What Does it mean to "Waive" arraignment? If "arraignment waived" is announced, you should not have to go to court. Neither will any law enforcement personnel associated with your case, but have to later appear, for motions or pending trial. For some courts, your lawyer will need to be aware of "standing court orders" from that court's judges, for late filing of any motions.
Legal counsel for the accused person also usually requests additional time to file "motions" (legal challenges) to all or part of the evidence, once the State prosecutor turns over "discovery" information, from police reports and video. In cases where an indictment was sought and obtained, your criminal defense attorney near me has a short time frame (30 days) to file a special demurrer or general demurrer to the State's Indictment.
What is Arraignment Court meant to do? After being apprehended, and typically after booked and bonded out, that accused person will have been accused of a crime. Based upon ancient precedent that was part of Common Law in England, a criminal court judge had to assure that you knew what you had been charged with doing. This information was revealed by a Judge to the Accused at arraignment.
Will I go to jail on my first court date? Not likely unless you come to court drunk or "act out" in a way to disrupt the court proceedings.
Formal arraignment usually happens shortly after you are arrested (within 30 to 60 days), but it can also be scheduled for a later date, sometimes weeks later. For indigent persons, those who need court appointed attorneys (i.e., the public defender) will usually have that "approval" of free legal counsel at arraignment.
What Else Happens at the Arraignment Hearing?
Modern Practice for Arraignment in Georgia. Today, procedures are allowed for the accused person and his or her lawyer to "waive" arraignment. When this is properly done, no one has to go to court for this initial step of the criminal proceedings.
Can you go to jail at an arraignment? In some cases, when the person is first arraigned, no bond has been set for a detained person, and this issue may need to be addressed, if bond is going to be allowed.
Special Note on Misdemeanor Traffic Ticket Cases: Municipal Court or Probate Court
In Municipal Court, the accused person (or his or her attorney) may need to attend multiple arraignment dates. The reason for this is that your legal professional needs to obtain "discovery" materials from that court prosecutor, like police bodycam video and police reports. This same rule applies to a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Once this is done, you or your lawyer can see if a reduction of charges can be negotiated. Once this is accomplished, the accused person will either waive a jury trial and stay in this court or opt to move the case over to a State Court or Superior Court, where a trial by jury is available. For your best chance to fully fight your criminal case from all angles, retaining a skilled and experienced legal professional is needed.
What is the arraignment meaning? In Great Britain, 400 to 800 years ago, many accused citizens could not read or write, so the judge would have to read each separate charge to the accused person. Then, the judge will ask how she or he answered: "guilty," or "not guilty," or (if no answer at all) the person would be noted as pleading "not guilty."
SPECIAL NOTE FOR THOSE FACING DUI CHARGES: In virtually ALL arrests for driving under the influence, a one-of-a-kind "administrative license suspension (or revocation) civil action under Georgia implied consent laws that will have been started on the day of your arrest. Anyone facing DUI charges needs to get immediate legal help from a DUI attorney near me on handling this potential loss of all driving privileges.
WARNING! You have only 30 days after the DUI arrest date in which to act. Call our 24 hour number now for your FREE lawyer consultation near me on this time-sensitive issue and applicable ONLY for driving while intoxicated cases. (404) 567-5515.