In-custody Arraignment Process
At the time of booking, if Own Recognizance (O.R.) or Supervised O.R. is denied, bail will be set in the case by the reviewing Judge. If bail is not posted, the pretrial detainee will remain in-custody until s/he is taken to court for their arraignment hearing within 72 business hours [excluding weekends and holidays].
If a formal complaint is not filed by the District Attorney’s office, then the detainee will be released from custody, assuming that s/he is not being held on any other cases/holds.
If a complaint is filed, the pretrial detainee will be taken to court for arraignment. At the Arraignment hearing, the detainee will be advised of the charge(s) and whether they are felony or misdemeanor. By that time, Pretrial Services Officers will have re-evaluated the case for a possible release on O.R. or Supervised O.R. at the time of arraignment. If a release is not granted, the Judge will set bail on the case. The final decision on custody status (release or bail amount) is up to the Judge hearing the case.
Typically, there are Public Defenders (court-appointed attorneys) in the courtroom to assist the detainee at the arraignment hearing. If the detainee would like a court-appointed attorney to represent him/her, they may ask the judge for one. The judge will then appoint the Public Defender’s Office to represent the detainee in their case. If the detainee wishes to retain a private attorney to represent her/him, s/he can request a brief continuance in order to retain an attorney. In either case, the detainee will be given another court date for Identification of Counsel and entry of Plea. In most felony cases, the detainee will not be expected to resolve the case at arraignment. The judge will usually want the defendant to consult with an attorney before accepting a plea.
In misdemeanor cases, the detainee may have the opportunity to resolve the case that day. If the detainee’s case does not resolve that day, they may request a court-appointed attorney. The judge will then appoint the Public Defender’s Office to represent the detainee. Alternatively, the detainee may request a brief continuance in order to retain a private attorney to represent her/him. In each instance, another court date will be scheduled for Identification of Counsel and Pretrial Conference.