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What should I know about arraignments?

If you have been arrested and charged with a sex crime in Minnesota, it is understandable that you will have questions about the criminal justice process, or when you will be free from the allegations against you. You may also be concerned with when you may be released from custody, (if you are in jail). Before the process can begin, the accused has to be arraigned. This post will briefly describe what it entails.

Under Minnesota law, the accused must be brought before a judge and have a formal reading of the criminal charges. This is the main purpose of an arraignment. This may also be described as the first appearance. In addition, the accused is also notified of their right to have an attorney, and arrangements may be made to have an interpreter (if needed.) The accused is further advised of their right to enter a plea of guilty, or not guilty. If a not guilty plea is entered, or no plea is given, additional dates are set for future hearings (i.e. probable cause, bail, pre-trial, trial date).

Since many sex crimes are charged as felonies, there may be questions about bail that must be answered. Courts consider when determining a bail amount (if any will be allowed at all). This includes the criminal record of the accused, the seriousness of the crime, and the risk to public safety, among other considerations.

The preceding is only information and is not legal advice. If you have additional questions about arraignments and what you should do, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.

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