When you are preparing for an arraignment, it is usually important to seek the help of an attorney. A lawyer may help you understand your rights and advise you of the process of arraignment in your jurisdiction. Likewise, a lawyer may help you with gathering information that could influence the court’s decisions regarding bail and other matters. For example, he may gather character statements from your employer or business associates that may encourage a judge to set low bail, or no bail, in your case. Additionally, a lawyer may advise you on what to expect in the event that you plead guilty as well as the procedure if you plead innocent.
If you cannot afford a defense lawyer, your jurisdiction may provide a public defender to represent you in your case. You may also seek free legal advice from non-profit legal organizations. Additionally, member associations may provide free or discount legal representation to members. It is generally considered a poor idea to proceed without legal help. If you choose to do so, you may significantly hurt your chances of getting acquitted.
As you prepare for an arraignment, it is also a good idea to decide how you want to plead. If you choose to plead guilty in a case, you will usually skip the trial and receive sentencing based on your admission of guilt. In some cases, sentencing occurs on the same day as the plea of guilt, but this is not always the case. In some cases, a judge will set a sentencing hearing to occur at a later date. If you plead not-guilty, on the other hand, a judge will typically set a court date on which your trial will begin. In some cases, this date may be set for months after your arraignment.
While you prepare for an arraignment, you may also consider bail. If a judge believes that you are not a danger to others and are a low risk for fleeing from justice, he may free you on bail pending a trial. This usually means you or another person will have to deposit a sum of money with the court as a guarantee that you will show up for your court date. If you think a judge may release you on bail, you may do well to consider where you will get the money to post bail. For example, you may contact friends, family members, or a bail agent to help with this.