Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can..The arraignment is where the defendant appears in court and the judge then explains the charges against them and asks them how they wish to plead. The defendant then has the option of pleading "guilty" or "not guilty". If the defendant want to fight the charges or just needs more time to consider the case and whether they want to fight it, they can plead "not guilty" and the case will then be set for a "pretrial" a few weeks off where the defendant will then return and can either change their plea to "guilty" or the case will be set for a trial. There is no penalty for changing your plea later to guilty and probably 98% of defendants plead "not guilty" at the arraignment..At the arraignment, the DA will usually have an "offer" for a plea of guilty that day. If the defendant accepts it and pleads guilty, the case is over and whatever the agreed on punishment is will be imposed by the judge..If the defendant hires an attorney, the process is the same, just that the defendant has the benefit of talking to an attorney to discuss the case, the facts, any defenses they may have, and whether the attorney thinks they can either get them a better "offer" or whether the case should be taken to trial..
And typically the arraignment can't be rescheduled unless the defendant has an attorney who specifically requests that the judge postpone it so he can talk with the client and discuss the case.