What is Arraignment Court
An arraignment in Arraignment Court is a court proceeding at which a criminal defendant is formally advised of the charges against him and is asked to enter a plea to the charges. In many states, the court may also decide at arraignment whether the defendant will be released pending trial.
The Arraignment Process
Arraignment is the initial court hearing whereby a person charged with a crime is advised of his or her criminal charges. Additionally, the person will be advised of his or her constitutional rights and their first pre-trial or probable cause hearing date. The court will set bond and any accompanying conditions. For example, someone may be released on his or her own recognizance (R.O.R.) but prohibited from contact with the alleged victim or place of the violation. Those defendants with some form of suspended or probated sentences may also expect to be served with written notice of the prosecutor’s intent to seek revocation of that jail sentence. For those facing felony charges who are not released or do not post bond, the prosecutor must provide a preliminary or probable cause hearing on or before the 10th day after arraignment, excluding weekends and holidays. Those individuals who are charged with a felony and released from jail are entitled to a probable cause hearing within 20 days of their arraignment, again excluding weekends and holidays.
If the person is in custody, his or her arraignment will be held at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. You will not be permitted inside the secure courtroom; however, the court has set up a room for relatives and interested parties to watch the arraignment on a closed-circuit two-way television system. When your friend or loved one appears before the judge, you may appear at a lectern that has a two-way camera with the judge. The judge may ask you questions regarding the defendant’s living arrangements, ties to the community, employment and other information the court may be interested in securing to determine an appropriate bond or conditions for release.