Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

What You Should Know About the Arraignment Process

A man was recently arrested on multiple charges including attempted murder as well as human trafficking after a SWAT team responded to the man’s home. The man was charged with human trafficking, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The man additionally faces assault and battery charges as as well as ammunition possession and firearm charges. Details about the investigation process have not yet been released. The man charged, however, is expected to be arraigned at Quincy District Court.

The arraignment process in Massachusetts is the first hearing that occurs after a person is arrested in a criminal case. The arraignment process is also the first hearing after a magistrate issues the charges after a show. Because the arraignment is a particularly important part of the criminal justice system, it is a wise idea to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer during this time. It also helps to understand some important details about how the arraignment process works.

The Purpose of the Arraignment Process

The arraignment process exists to charge a person with a crime. After charges are listed, a judge will ask if the individual wants to retain his or her own legal counsel or attempt to qualify for a court appointed lawyer. The Judge will also ask the District Attorney if the Commonwealth plans on seeking bail. During the arraignment process, the defendant is not required to speak at any time.

How Bail is Decided

Bails exists to make certain that the person being charged appears at the next court date. Bail was not created to punish a defendant and must not be so high as to be unfair. Judges in Massachusetts are able to consider two factors when deciding bail - risk of flight and the danger presented to the community. A person’s previous defaults as well as record of any previously missed court dates will also be taken into consideration when deciding bail. Judges are not required to set bail in every case. In some situations, judges might set other conditions of release. Bails are capable of being reviewed by higher judges in Massachusetts. As a result, if a judge sets bail that is high, a person has the ability to appeal to a Superior Court Judge who can decide whether to further increase, lower, or keep the bail the same.

After Arraignment

Many times, a case is schedule for a pre-trial conference or pre-trial hearing after an arraignment. During these informal sessions, attorneys will determine the possibility for a plea or the types of trial that might occur.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have questions about the arraignment process, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward Molari today to schedule an initial free consultation. Attorney Molari has significant experience helping individuals navigate the complicated issues involved with criminal law cases and knows what it takes to make certain that your case resolves in the best possible manner.