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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default What Happens At Your Arraignment

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    I have arraignment tomorrow morning. I was wonder about how long arraignment takes and what exactly happens. I was not arrested at the time of the incident so will I go to jail tomorrow at all? This is my first offense and the amount I stole came out to be about $25.00. I plan on pleading not guilty and asking for a public defender. I don't exactly know how to do this. I understand that Virginia is hard on shopliffters but I was wondering if anyone could tell me the likelihood of me going to jail. I am a full time student and I'm very worried about this part.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    CT & IL

    Default Re: What Happens At Your Arraignment

    i doubt you will go to jail (unless you have priors) ... plead not guilty & ask the judge for a public defender, he'll tell you what you need to do to start the process. You should be worried about a conviction, it will hurt employment opportunities later

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: What Happens At Your Arraignment

    Jail is unlikely for a first offender, unless you act the fool in court.

    During your arraignment, your charges will be read in open court, and you'll be asked if you understand them. Then the judge or magistrate will ask you for a plea. Reply "Not Guilty, Your Honor." Typically, you'll then be asked if you have retained counsel. Reply that you have not, and you would like a Public Defender.

    You'll then have to fill out some forms to determine if you're eligible. A PD is NOT free, but is less costly than private counsel.

    If your arraignment is not first thing in the morning, you might try giving your local PD's office a call.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: What Happens At Your Arraignment

    Missy is right. You'll be given a new date so you can obtain counsel. It would behoove you to have counsel when that date comes. I've seen some pretty testy GDC judges when you don't show up with one after the continuance. Don't go there. Actually, they want to also know if you are going to want a jury. GDC can't hear jury trials so they'll reschedule you in another court.

    You needs a lawyer.

    Time, from the time they call you up until you're done will be roughly 10 minutes. How long you'll be in the courtroom depends on where you are on the docket. Usually things run pretty quickly, you won't be there for more than two hours in my estimation. The session could run all morning (or afternoon).

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