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My lawyer waived my rights in my arraignment what does that mean from here on out?

Morristown, TN |

charged with felony reckless endangerment

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You probably mean your lawyer "waived your right to be formally arraigned" at your arraignment. At an arraignment, the Judge is required to inform you of the charges against you. The Judge can READ the charges against you in open court OR you and your defense attorney can REVIEW the charges against you by looking over the charging document in the court file. If you choose the latter, you must "waive formal reading of the charges" or as it's also referred..."waive your right to be formally arraigned". In the vast majority of felony cases, a Defendant elects the latter option...sparing the court (the Judge) the time of reading each charge to each Defendant and sparing the person accused the embarassment of having charges read aloud to a full courtroom. Waiving your right to be formally arraigned in no way takes away certain other rights such as your right to plead not guilty, your right to go to trial or your right to testify on your own behalf.


  2. Your lawyer doesn't make the decision to waive your rights. You do. If you don't understand what your lawyer is doing be sure to talk to him. Posting a quesion on the internet is not the best way to figure out what is going on with your case. You have a lawyer. Use him.


  3. At the circuit or criminal court level, lawyers routinely "waive formal reading of the indictment, enter a plea of not guilty and request a report date." And as Jill pointed out, it is a request that the judge does NOT read the indictment (formal charging document) out loud to you in open court.

    Next, your attorney will file pre-trial discovery motions requesting all the information the State of Tennessee is required by law to turn over to you. Your attorney should review these documents and information with you. Your attorney will also likely try and negotiate some type of settlement with the prosecutor. Any settlement agreement MUST be approved by you.


  4. I agree with Mr.Koban. Call your lawyer instead of posting your question to the internet. However , an arraignment is normally a formality . Under the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure , an arraignment can be waived .

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