An arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. At your first appearance in court, this is when you will be asked to enter a plea on the charges pending against you. You may plead one of the following: Guilty, Nolo Contendre (no contest), or Not Guilty.
By pleading guilty you are admitting your guilt to the charge.
Pleading No Contest (Nolo Contendre) is not an admission of guilt, but is an admission of the truth of the facts alleged against you. This plea cannot be used against you in any other legal proceeding.
Pleading Not Guilty is a denial of being guilty of the charges against you.
Please consult your citation for the appropriate court date and time.
All individuals under the age of 18 must appear in court with a parent or guardian.
At your arraignment you will be given the following information:
- The charge pending against you
- Assurance that you have the right to be represented by counsel
- Assurance that you may have the right to a court appointed attorney
If you plead guilty or nolo contendre to the charges pending against you at arraignment, you will be sentenced on that day (with the exception of a DWI charge). Sentencing may include the following:
- Fines and court costs
- Special conditions, such as public service work, defensive driving course, restitution to the city or county prosecutor, or any other special condition deemed necessary by the judge
You will then be required to speak to a court clerk about a payment arrangement and/or time to complete your special condition. You will be given a deadline to have your payment made or proof of completion of the special condition turned into the court clerk’s office.