The time between arrest and arraignment varies widely depending on where you are arrested. Prior to seeing a judge, an attorney from the Law Office of Jennifer R. Louis-Jeune can help guide you and your loved ones through the arraignment process and begin defending your case as soon as possible.
You will be handcuffed and transported to a local precinct for initial processing.
At the precinct you will be asked basic information such as your name, address, birth date and social security number and you will be fingerprinted. It is important to tell the truth, as some of this information will be used by the court in deciding your eligibility for bail.
After fingerprinting you will be transported to Central Booking where you will be held until arraignment, when you will go before the judge.
Meet With Attorney
Once your case is “docketed” (is ready for arraignment), you will meet with your attorney. This will be a very quick meeting and the main goal is to get you out of custody as soon as possible.
You will have a chance to speak in depth about your case in a confidential setting at your convenience in your lawyer’s office after arraignment.
Your attorney will tell you what crimes and violations you have been charged with, if a plea offer has been made by the District Attorney, and will ask you what you would like to do.
Once you are in front of the judge, the main issue is bail. If the District Attorney does not agree to release you on your own recognizance (“ROR”), your attorney will argue for less or no bail.
It is helpful to have friends or family members present to immediately pay your bail if bail is set.
After arraignment, speak with your attorney to discuss the next steps in your case and the date and location of your next court appearance, if any.
For additional information, see NYC Bar Association.
The process after arrest in a federal case is very different than a state case. That is why it is important to have an attorney, like Jennifer R. Louis-Jeune, who regularly practices in federal courts and can guide you through the process.
At your initial appearance after arrest, the judge will decide if you will remain in jail or if you will be released, with or without bail.
Before seeing the judge, a Pretrial Services Officer, who works for the court, will gather basic information from you about your background and personal circumstances. It is important to be truthful, as this information influences decisions on your pretrial release and attorney representation.
The Pretrial Services Officer will prepare a report based on the information you give and will make a recommendation to the judge regarding bail.
Meet With Attorney
You will most likely be assigned a CJA (“Criminal Justice Act”) attorney. CJA attorneys are private attorneys appointed by the court to represent federal defendants who cannot afford their own attorney.
You will meet very briefly with your attorney to discuss the charges against you, review the Pretrial Services Report and discuss your options for bail.
Presentment/Arraignment and Bail
You will go before a judge. The judge may ask you to enter a plea. Your lawyer may make an argument for bail or they may wait until later when they have more information. If you are released on bail, the judge may impose conditions on bail such as drug testing, mental health treatment, travel restrictions or electronic monitoring.
The judge may require co-signers. Unlike state court, co-signers are not usually required to have cash on hand but if you do not show up for appearances or comply with the conditions of the bond, the government can collect the full amount of the bond from you and each of your co-signers. You should discuss any potential co-signers with your attorney.
You will be released to Pretrial Services. You will need to arrange for your own transportation.