When does the arraignment typically take place in Virginia?
If you are held in jail after being arrested, the arraignment usually takes place the following morning, or the next day the court is open. If you are released from custody (either after posting a bond or on your own recognizance) the arraignment is typically scheduled for a few days later.
Substantively, what happens at the arraignment in Virginia?
Substantively, the arraignment is a brief administrative hearing at which the Court will typically do the following: (1): inform you of the charge against you and make sure you understand it, (2): inform you of your right to be represented by an attorney, (3): inquire whether you plan to hire a lawyer, ask the court to appoint a lawyer or represent yourself, and (4): inform you of your next court date.
Do I need to be represented by a lawyer at an arraignment in Virginia?
No, you do not need to be represented by a lawyer at an arraignment like this in Virginia. Remember, one of the things the Court is going to ask you about is whether you plan to hire a lawyer. Some courts don't even require the accused to come to court for the arraignment if a lawyer notifies the court that the lawyer has been hired to represent the accused. However, you should NEVER assume that you are excused from appearing at your arraignment. Unless you have not been told that you do not need to go to the arraignment by your lawyer, you should go, because missing an arraignment can result in a warrant for your arrest being issued.
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