This is the third stage in the Okmulgee misdemeanor case. Arraignment is the first formal appearance in court. The defendant or the defendant’s attorney must appear. The charging documents are entered into the criminal case record and the defendant is formally informed of the prosecution’s charges.
The First Steps In The Arraignment
The court also verifies the defendant’s identity at this time. The defendant’s name, address, date of birth, Social Security number will all be ascertained.
Often, an arraignment feels more informal than many court proceedings. When you attend, the court wants to ensure you will appear at the next hearing on the matter.
If you have not yet bonded out of jail, the bond amount will be set and you will have the opportunity to post bond.
In some cases, a person may be released on their own recognizance. This means the person does not have to pay the bond. Their promise to appear at the next hearing is enough for the court to release them until the next appearance.
Part of what happens at the arraignment is that you enter a plea. You can plead innocent or guilty. It is important to understand the consequences of pleading. That is one of the reasons that it is important to have an attorney represent you at the arraignment.
If you plead guilty, the court will usually sentence you right then. If that sentence includes jail time, you will be taken to jail immediately after the arraignment.
It Is Important To Be Represented At The Arraignment
Under Oklahoma law, if the matter before the court is a misdemeanor and you are represented by counsel, you do not actually have to appear at the arraignment. Your Okmulgee misdemeanor attorney can appear on your behalf.
At the arraignment, the court wants to make sure that you have representation. If you appear at the arraignment without an attorney, the court will ask you about your plans for obtaining an attorney to represent you.
Sometimes, a defendant needs time to gather money to pay for a defense attorney. If that is the case, it is important for the defendant to tell the court how much time they need to gather those funds. A defendant must be unafraid to ask for the time they need.
A word of caution to the unwary defendant, though. If the court decides that you have the ability to pay for representation and keep asking for more time, the court will likely lose patience with you. The court may warn you, but repeated appearances asking for time may land a defendant back in jail.
In essence, the court may revoke your bond for disobeying the court’s orders. It is best to take care of this early if at all possible.
Private Representation Vs. Public Defender’s Office
The public defender’s office is often backlogged. They have a huge number of cases for which they are responsible. If at all possible, it is recommended that any defendant get private representation. It is money well spent.
Your Okmulgee criminal defense attorney will have the experience needed to help you understand the importance of the charges and the best way to proceed. Experienced misdemeanor defense attorneys will also know the particular courtroom and judge that you will be facing. They can make this appearance for you, which can save you time, money, and grief.
Free Consultation With An Okmulgee Lawyer
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