Jesus Novo, a Criminal defense lawyer at Gallardo Law Firm talks about what is an Arraignment, and what happens at that point
Once you get arrested then there is something called an arraignment. And many people ask me: What happens at an arraignment and what is the arraignment? Well, the arraignment is the chance that prosecution has to file charges against you. When the police arrest you, they don’t file charges. They basically say they have an idea. They have a probable cause that you committed a crime. The only one that has the power to file charges against you is the prosecution, the state attorney, the attorney that works for the state of Florida. The arraignments then, you have a chance to plead to those charges. Usually you plead not guilty and you request trial by jury. You request discovery. And you ask the judge to give you time to file motions. That’s what happens at the arraignment. Nothing much happens. It’s a chance for the prosecution to file charges, for you to plead to those charges. If the state decides not to file charges, that’s when they will dismiss you case. Also, many times if you are represented by an attorney you don’t have to appear at the arraignment. The attorney will file some papers for you and then the arraignment will be waved.