When you appear for arraignment the Judge informs of the charges being brought against you and possible penalties. For example, "You have been charged with DWI, DWI as a first offense carries a possible 90 days in jail and $500 fine" You are then advised of your rights You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to a trial (jury or bench), you have the right to cross-examine the States witnesses and compel the attendance of your witnesses, you have the right to an appeal. You have the right to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Once you understand the charges, possible penalties, and your rights, you will be asked to enter your initial plea. You can plead guilty, no contest or NOT GUILTY. For all practical purposes, you will be ing pleading NOT GUILTY so you can defend yourself. If you plea guilty or no contest you will not be able to defend yourself as you are admitting tot he crime or crimes charged. Enter a plea of NOT GUILTY
Waiver of Appearance at Arraignment
Your Appearance for Arraignment can be a waiver. Your lawyer may explain the charges and possible penalties to you and go over your rights, and then enter a plea of NOT GUILTY for you on a pleading call Wavier of Appearance and Entry of Not Guilty Plea. This will save you time and worry. I highly recommend you hire an attorney prior to Arraignment so your attorney can file the waiver
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