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Do I need to be present for my arraignment or is this something my lawyer can handle without me?

Newnan, GA |
Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

Most courts will permit waivers of arraignment which, if done in advance, means neither the defendant nor the attorney needs to show up. This is something you should ask your lawyer about, because it depends on the jurisdiction and the judge. If you don't have an attorney, you need to appear at the arraignment and request for a continuance to give you time to hire a lawyer or request a public defender. Hopefully you have an attorney at this point. If not, hire one immediately.


You need to check with your lawyer, because some courts require you to be present and some do not. You do not want to risk the consequences of your presence is required and you don't appear.


Usually your attorney can waive the arraignment ahead of time, or appear for you. All jurisdictions vary on this so check with your lawyer, but generally you don't have to go.

James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.


The other attorneys are correct. Courts are very different in how they handle arraignments. Your attorney will know whether you must appear or can waive your appearance.


Most courts will allow an Attorney to file a Waiver of Arraignment in advance of the hearing and not require the Attorney or Client to appear. However, it is best not to assume that every court will follow this procedure. Some courts do in fact require attendance at Arraignment. Anytime you are facing a criminal charge (like your DUI charge) it is best to retain an attorney to represent you, as soon as you can. The attorney will know the rules for the specific court that your case is in and will be able to advise you accordingly. In my area of the state, most courts allow the attorneys to file Waivers and don't require the clients to appear. If you have any questions about any part of the criminal process, I would advise you to ask your attorney. Good Luck!
George McCranie

The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.

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