Following an arrest and formal charge, via indictment or accusation, you will receive an arraignment notice in the mail (side note: you need to have your proper address on file with the Court Clerk so you get this notice).
This notice will provide you with the date for your first formal court appearance on your charges. An arraignment is useful for several reasons.
Arraignments Inform the Accused of Their Rights and Their Charges
When accused of a crime in Georgia defendant's have several rights (e.g. the right to remain silent, the right to a jury trial, the right to be represented by an attorney). It is important that people accused of crimes are informed of these rights.
Another purpose of an arraignment is to ensure the Defendant understands what he or she is charged with. The accused may demand that the charges be read aloud to him, although there is rarely a benefit to that. Instead, in modern practice, the defendant's lawyer will typically waive a formal reading of the charges.
Instead of having the charges read aloud the defendant has the right to receive a copy of the indictment or accusation against him.
Arraignment is an Important Date for Motions in Your Case
Arraignment is an important date for your lawyer as well. Oftentimes there are motions that need to be filed within a certain amount of time of your arraignment, or even before your arraignment. It is critical, if you hire your attorney after arraignment, that your inform him or her of what day you were arraigned.
The defendant, however, does have a right to receive a copy of the indictment or accusation against him or her at or before arraignment. Further, Newnan criminal defense lawyers are typically able to obtain discovery in their client's cases at the arraignment date so that they may begin assessing the government prosecutor's case.
You Need to Enter a Plea at your Arraignment
The common practice in the Coweta County Judicial Circuit at arraignment is for your lawyer to enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf.
Discovery May be Available in your Case
Another common practice in Coweta County, Carrollton, and the surrounding areas is that discovery may be available in your case at arraignment. When this is the case your lawyer will get discs, reports, and other things from the prosecution so that he or she may review the evidence prosecutors have in the case. This is exceptionally important toward mounting your defense.
If you have arraignment coming up, then contact us and let us help you through this process. Our phone number is (470) 635-1725 and we are located at 19 Perry Street, Suite 202, Newnan, GA 30263.