If you’re facing a drug charge, the first step in your defense is called an arraignment. The arraignment is your first opportunity to appear before a judge and begin your defense. There are important things that happen at your arraignment that can make a critical difference when it comes to preparing your case. Errors at your arraignment can make it harder to build your defenses and ultimately impact the result of your case.
Yes, you have the right to a Brooklyn arraignment lawyer. You have the right to have an attorney represent you at every stage in the proceedings. Your arraignment is no exception. Having an attorney represent you can give you the insight and the guidance that you need to make your arraignment proceeding successful.
Several things happen at an arraignment in Brooklyn. The purpose of an arraignment is to give you formal notice of what charges you’re facing and ensure that you receive due process under the law. At its core, the arraignment is your opportunity to have formal notice of the charges against you. The police may or may not tell you what charges you’re facing at your arrest. In addition, the state’s attorney might change the charges against you. If law enforcement makes an arrest for one type of charge, the state’s attorney might decide that it’s more appropriate to authorize different charges. Your arraignment is where you get to hear what the charges are against you.
There are other important things that happen at your arraignment. The judge may advise you of your legal rights. Your legal rights are important because they impact your ability to receive a fair proceeding and ultimately receive justice. You have the right to try your case in front of a jury. You aren’t guilty simply because law enforcement accuses you of a crime or the state’s attorney authorizes charges. You have the right to a jury trial to determine your guilt or innocence. The judge may inform you of this right at your arraignment. The judge may also tell you that you have the right to call witnesses and testify in your own defense. You also have the right not to testify in order to prevent self-incrimination.
One of the most immediately pressing issues at any Brooklyn arraignment is setting bail. Bail or bond is a way that you can be released from jail while you await the disposition of your case. Sometimes it can take many months for a case to resolve, so it’s important to secure bond in order to maintain employment and prepare the defense in your case. The amount of bond needs to be appropriate. There are also conditions that may accompany your bond that you need to address so that you can follow your terms of bond when you’re released from jail and awaiting further proceedings.
The court sets bond based on the severity of the offense and based on the specific allegations in the case. The more serious the charges you face, the higher the bond amount you can expect. The purpose of bond is to ensure that you appear at future proceedings. Your Brooklyn arraignment attorney can help you make arguments for a lower bond amount. Factors like employment, a minimal prior criminal history and ties to the community can all lower your bond amount.
You may also need to address specific conditions of your bond. Your bond conditions may require you to refrain from contacting one or more individuals. You may need to avoid handling alcohol even though you’re a server or you need to handle alcohol for your work. If there are specific conditions of bond that may apply that you need to address, your Brooklyn arraignment lawyer may help you address the issues with the court.
Any court appearance is crucial to your case. Your Brooklyn arraignment lawyer can accompany you to your arraignment and at every appearance in your case. They can help you begin to mount your defense from your very first court hearing. Beginning your defense at your arraignment can help you fight your case as quickly as possible and bring a strong defense to the charges against you.