Arraignment

Speak to an Attorney Before Your Massachusetts Arraignment

An arraignment is your first appearance in court after you have been arrested and criminal charges have been filed. It typically takes place the business day after the arrest. At the arraignment, the charge will be read, and you will be asked to enter a plea. If you plead “guilty,” you are admitting the facts of the crime and that you were the person who committed it. If you plead “not guilty,” you are stating that you did not commit the crime. A plea of “no contest” means that you’re not admitting to guilt but that you don’t challenge the charge against you. If you “stand mute,” it means that you aren’t entering a plea, and the court will enter a “not guilty” plea for you. At the arraignment, the court will set bail, refuse to set bail or release you on your own personal recognizance, meaning that you give your word to appear in court when you are required to do so. The court will also set a future court date.

It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney like Francis T. O’Brien Jr. working for you before and during this stage. Without a lawyer by your side and under the intimidating circumstances, you might make the mistake of speaking to someone about your case, and even an offhand comment to the prosecutor can be used against you down the line. If you are by yourself, a prosecutor might offer you a plea deal then and there, and you usually won’t get the best deal possible without an attorney. Usually the arraignment is when your lawyer will have his first opportunity to examine the police report and other evidence. If the police report is vague, your lawyer may be able to get the charge amended, which would result in you facing a less serious punishment. In setting your bail, the court will consider various factors such as the seriousness of the charge, your record of convictions, family ties and length of residence and reputation in the community. Basically, the court tries to assess whether you are a danger to the community and whether you will flee. An attorney like Francis T. O’Brien Jr. will aggressively fight to get the lowest bail possible or to have you released on your personal recognizance.

If you have been arrested and charged, you need to contact an expert criminal defense lawyer like Francis T. O’Brien Jr. of O'Brien Law Boston as soon as possible. Attorney O’Brien is the director of the firm’s Criminal practice group. He has more than 20 years’ experience in criminal defense and is a highly-regarded expert in the field.

To speak with a highly experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer, click here, or telephone Francis T. O’Brien, Jr. at O'Brien Law Boston twenty four hours, seven days a week, toll free at 617-512-0939. There is no fee charged to discuss your case, and all information furnished will be kept strictly confidential.