A number of topics are discussed during the arraignment, but the main purpose is to decide your custody status.
A determination will be made as to whether you will be released on your own recognizance or if the judge will set bail to insure you return to court.
When I make my argument to the judge to ask for you to be released or for low bail to be set, I will discuss the fact that you have strong family/business ties and are therefore unlikely to willfully ignore the court’s order that you appear on each court date.
Or I might point out that you haven’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.
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The judge will decide whether to release you on your own recognizance, hold you 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 you, she will do so only if you meet certain conditions.
One condition might be that you’re 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 you 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 your surrender, so that you spend as little time as possible in custody.