What happens at an arraignment?

Asked over 1 year ago - Boston, MA

My cousin recently was attacked in her apartment building (infront of her two children) by a women who lives in the same building. The women came into my cousins house, requested her items back (they were previously friends) and then beat up my cousin. She left her with a black eye, scratches, and a knot on her head. My cousin called the police after the incident and went to the hospital. She is pressing charges against the aggressor and the state is also filing their own charges due to this not being the first assault and battery charges the aggressor has. If the aggressor pleads not guilty at her arraignment, or tries to get a lawyer, what will happen next?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Joshua Rubin Weinberger

    Contributor Level 9

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . After the arraignment, the Court will schedule a pre-trial hearing. Very often, cases resolve at the pre-trial hearing, by a tender of plea. As the named victim in the case, your cousin should be contacted by the victim-witness advocate from the District Attorney's office. Your cousin has the right to be present at all court hearings and to make a victim impact statement at sentencing. She will also have the opportunity to submit any expenses (medical bills, broken/stolen property, etc.) for reimbursement. In the event that the case does not resolve, it will proceed through the court system, ultimately to trial. Your cousin should stay in touch with the DA's office to make her interests known. Good luck.

  2. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . During an arraignment the charges a read, a plea is entered and conditions of release are ordered. Sometimes the DA may ask for Bill and you or your lawyer will argue the bail matter. Get a lawyer before you go to an arraignment.



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  3. Ilir Kavaja

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The justice system will work itself out.
    Good luck

    The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created... more
  4. Dylan Hayre

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . An arraignment is the first step in the criminal litigation process. Subsequent steps may include: pretrial conference, motions, and trial.

    At arraignment, all of the cases on the court docket for that day will be called. The case involving your cousin will be called by the clerk. The defendant and the prosecution will come before the judge. The defendant will enter a plea, usually "not guilty." If he/she can not afford an attorney, one may be appointed for them at the arraignment.

    The prosecution may ask for bail, and/or conditions of release. These conditions can, and in your case probably should, include: staying away from the alleged victim (your cousin) and not contacting the alleged victim. If your cousin thinks these conditions are important for her own safety and well-being, she should voice this concern to the prosecution before the arraignment takes place: as a former prosecutor, I know how helpful it can be to have the input from an alleged victim before a case even begins.

    It is in the prosecutor's discretion to seek bail, and the judge has the discretion to set bail or release the defendant without bail (what is called "released on personal recognizance"). Keep in mind that bail is not meant to punish a defendant, but is, instead, meant to ensure their return to court by placing a monetary incentive on their willingness to appear at the next court date. Whether a prosecutor asks for bail is usually dependent upon the defendant's criminal history and how cooperative the defendant was with the police (if he/she was arrested).

    The arraignment will conclude with the judge or clerk announcing the next date for this case to appear in court for the first pretrial conference. You should get the contact information of the prosecutor before you leave court, and contact the prosecutor directly with any questions or concerns you may have.

    I hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck.

    The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created... more

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