In the past few months I have had various clients ask, "What is the arraignment?"
Well, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 26 and 15.17 you can find a lot of information about the arraignment.
Most times the setting for an arraignment does not carry on like the major events shown on television. Although a lot is at stake, the arraignment is usually uneventful, unless the defendant has a highly publicized case or is a high-profile member of the community.
What Happens at Arraignment?
At the arraignment, the court will ensure the person before the court is the proper person.
What Happens If I am the Wrong Person?
Recently, I had a client with the same name as the person alleged in the complaint.
However, my client had a different date of birth and was not from or near the county where the crime was alleged to have been committed. In other words, they had the wrong guy! It is important to ensure the proper person is before the court. For my client having a similar name, yet having a different birth date and home address, still led to his arrest. However, he was released fairly quickly.
What Can I Expect at the Arraignment?
Counties appear to handle this portion of the case differently. Some arraign at the very first opportunity, others arraign just before trial. If you have a friend or family member about to be arraigned. Do not let it be a heart-stopping moment. It generally means you are at the beginning of the case and they are trying to make sure they have the right person (who has been accused) facing the right crime.