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An arraignment is the first time a defendant appears in front of a judge. They will be notified of the charges brought by the state and a judge will set bail or a defendant can be released on his or her own recognizance (ROR). An arraignment is not the time or place for a defendant to plead guilty. In fact, a plea of not guilty is made by the defendant’s attorney nearly 100 percent of the time.

It’s imperative you have private legal counsel during the arraignment. An attorney can advise you on whether accepting a plea deal is in your best interest and advocate to have the judge reduce bail.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Garden City

Legal counsel is a must during an arraignment. Stephanie Selloni is an accomplished criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of the New York criminal justice system. She will advocate on your behalf and ensure you benefit from the outcome.

The sooner you retain legal representation, the better your chances of more favorable results. Call (516) 972-1212 to schedule a free consultation with Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Ms. Selloni defends clients in areas such as Garden City, Smithtown and New Rochelle.

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What is an Arraignment?

An arraignment is typically the first step in the criminal justice process. This procedure takes place in a courtroom in front of a judge and is used to inform the accused of the charges against them.

Arraignments are required as part of the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This amendment protects the accused from being held in custody for too long without being notified of the charges against them. For this reason, arraignments are normally held within a day or two after an arrest. If not, the accused could argue their constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated.

Various other matters are discussed during an arraignment in addition to being notified of charges. Other matters that are discussed include:

  • Determine if the defendant has legal counsel or would like a court-appointed attorney
  • Bail is set
  • The court clerk provides the next court date “for conference”

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How is Bail Decided in New York? 

A judge will have the chance to set bail during the arraignment. In addition to the charges brought against a defendant, the court will consider various factors in determining whether or not a defendant is eligible for bail.

Listed below are factors the court will consider when deciding bail:

  • The character, habits, reputation and mental condition of the defendant
  • The defendant’s employment and financial resources
  • Length in the community and family ties
  • Criminal history
  • The defendant’s history of appearing for court
  • The seriousness of the offense charged

A judge will typically set a cash bail with a bond alternative; generally, with a higher bond bail over a lesser cash bail option. For instance, $5,000 bond and $2,500 cash.

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Do I Need a Lawyer for an Arraignment?

Retaining legal counsel is imperative anytime you are dealing with the legal system. During the arraignment, the judge will make decisions that will have a lasting impact on a case. A defendant cannot represent themselves during an arraignment. If they have not retained a private lawyer, one will be provided by the court.

Having a private attorney for the arraignment is beneficial in more ways than one. Not only do they have more time and resources to devote to your case, but they can advocate on your behalf to reduce the bail amount. An attorney can also negotiate plea bargains and advise you on whether accepting the deal is in your best interest.

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Additional Resources

Arraignments | New York State Unified Court System – Read more about arraignments by following the link. You can learn more about your right to an attorney, what happens if you are released and what may happen after an arraignment. By accessing the site, you can also gain access to information about sentencing and collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.

Bail in New York – View a PDF by the Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice to learn more about bail in the Empire State. You can find out if bail can be reduced while a case is pending and what happens to the money or property used for bail once a case is closed.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Nassau County 

Retaining legal counsel is imperative if you or someone you know was recently arrested. A criminal defense attorney can intervene and argue for the release of the accused. Stephanie Selloni has been defending clients for nearly a decade. She is a well-respected legal advocate who will do everything in her power to achieve a favorable outcome.

Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Call (516) 972-1212 to schedule a free case evaluation. Ms. Selloni is based in Nassau County but also represents clients in Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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