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Can Charges Be Dropped at an Arraignment?

Judges do not normally dismiss or drop criminal charges during an arraignment hearing; however, in rare cases charges may be dismissed through a probable cause hearing, which typically occurs during an arraignment.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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What Occurs During an Arraignment?

At an arraignment, a judge formally states the charges against the defendant. If bail has not yet been set in the case, it will be addressed at arraignment. Then, the defendant will be advised of their rights and asked to enter a plea to the charges. If he or she does not have enough money to hire a lawyer, the court will appoint one to the defendant free of charge.

Also Read: 5 Effective Ways to Get Felony Charges Dropped

What Is a Probable Cause Hearing?

A probable cause hearing is a proceeding involving a determination that there was a valid basis for arrest. This determination allows the authorities to continue to confine a defendant who hasn't bailed out of jail or been released on their own recognizance (OR). Probable cause hearings occur during arraignment or initial appearance.

What Happens After the Arraignment?

In felony cases, after the arraignment, if the case does not settle or gets dismissed, the judge holds a preliminary hearing. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether there is sufficient evidence that the defendant committed the crime to make him or her appear for a formal trial.

What’s the Difference Between an Arraignment and an Indictment?

The purpose of an arraignment is to formally process a person charged with a crime, whereas an indictment charges an individual with a crime. An indictment is almost always issued before an arraignment takes place. Arraignments can only take place after an arrest, while indictments are typically issued before a person is taken into custody.

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Do You Go to Jail Immediately After a Trial?

If you are found guilty of a crime, you will not necessarily go to jail immediately after the trial. The judge has 3 options: (1) keeping you in custody if you were already in jail; (2) ordering you into custody even if you were not in jail; or (3) requiring you to post bail to secure your appearance during the next hearing.

What Happens After You’ve Been Sentenced?

After the defendants are sentenced, they are taken from court and transported to a local reception facility for the first few nights. They may then be relocated to another prison depending on the security category, nature of the crime, length of sentence, and other factors.

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