After an arrest in Florida, you generally must be arraigned within 24 hours. Arraignment is a process in which you are taken to court in order to appear before a judge. A prosecutor is going to be present at this hearing and you should have a defense attorney present as well. An Orlando criminal defense lawyer at Katz & Phillips, P.A. can help you determine:
What to Expect at Arraignment
When you are arraigned in the state of Florida, you will be informed of all of the charges that have been brought against you. This way, you will know exactly what you have been accused of so you can begin building a defense.
You’ll have the opportunity to enter your plea at arraignment. You have three primary options when asked how to plead: you can plead guilty, plead not guilty, or plead no contest.
You’ll also have the opportunity to argue for bail. Ideally, you will be released ROR, which means released on your own recognizance. In some cases, the court will require you to post bail to make sure you return to your court date. In a worst-case scenario, bail will be denied and you’ll be taken back to jail pending your trial.
What You Will Need to Do At Arraignment
At arraignment, you need to be prepared to make a solid argument for why you deserve ROR or a bail you can afford to pay. You also need to be prepared to enter your plea.
You should not go to your arraignment and try to make your own arguments or make decisions about how to plead without talking to a legal professional first. Simply admitting guilt at this time before talking to a lawyer could make it impossible for you to get a favorable plea deal later. You could also foreclose opportunities that may exist to avoid a criminal conviction that can affect your future.
Before your arraignment, you have the right to call a lawyer. Exercise that right and contact Katz & Phillips, P.A. so our criminal defense team can prepare for your arraignment and represent you as you face the court.
How Arraignment Affects Your Florida Criminal Case in the Future
The decision you make on your plea at arraignment determines whether your case moves forward or whether you lose the chance to clear your name and avoid penalties. Katz & Phillips, P.A. is available any time to answer your questions about what happens at a Florida arraignment and to represent you during this important hearing.
“If you’ve been arrested in the State of Florida your first court date is called an arraignment. All this is is an opportunity for you to go before the court and for the State attorney, and to the court, tell you specifically what you’re being charged with. You will go and you will be in a courtroom filled with other people. When your name is called you’ll step forward and the court will arraign you on the specific charge. It’s at this opportunity you have one of three ways to resolve your case. You can either enter a plea of guilty, admitting your charges and the court will proceed to sentencing at that time, or you could enter a plea of no contest. A no contest plea is in essence considered a guilty plea except you’re neither admitting or denying out the allegations, but you’re just asking the court to resolve your case because it’s in your best interest. The last option is to enter a plea of not guilty. At that time the court will enter your plea and then set off for further court proceedings.”