A number of topics are discussed during the arraignment, but the main purpose is to decide the custody status of my client. A determination will be made as to whether the client will be released on their own recognizance or if the judge will set bail to insure they return to court.
When I make my argument to the judge to ask for my client to be released or for low bail to be set,
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I will discuss the fact that he has strong family/business ties and are therefore unlikely to willfully ignore the court’s order that he appear on each court date.
Or I might point out that he hasn’t been arrested before, or that the case is a weak one, or that the financial or physical harm wasn’t as great as the prosecutors are making out. Anything that supports our position, I’ll use it.
The judge will decide whether to release the client to you his own recognizance, hold him with no bail, or set a cash bail and a bond alternative. If the judge sets bail, I’ll walk you through the procedure of getting it paid, either through the court or through a bail bondsman.
It is possible that when a judge agrees to release your friend or loved one, she will do so only if you meet certain conditions. One condition might be that he is sent for “evaluation” – e.g. for substances, anger management, or mental health issues. Most courts have an agency that will do the evaluation, but I send all my clients to my own people.
The court might also want to issue an “order of protection” that will keep him away from the person making the complaint. This can have serious implications – e.g. some people can’t go back to their homes or see their kids – so I’ll do whatever I can to convince the court not to issue it if I think it’s unreasonable.
I’ll always try my best to make sure the arraignment takes place as soon as possible after surrender, so that they spend as little time as possible in custody.
I’ll keep you updated on everything throughout this process, and I’ll always be honest about how I think events are likely to pan out.