Criminal Defense Law: What Happens During an Arraignment in Fort Lauderdale?


If you’re facing criminal charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the first time you go before a judge is called an “arraignment” or “initial appearance.” The law prevents the government and law enforcement from keeping individuals in jail without a trial. Under Florida law, from the moment you are arrested in Florida, a clock begins to tick. According to Florida Criminal Procedure, if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor in Florida, your case must be brought to trial within 90 days. If you have been charged with a felony in Florida, your trial must be brought within 175 days of your arrest. Individuals also have a right to demand for a faster trial, if they wish.

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During your arraignment, you’ll learn about your rights and about the charges being filed against you. During this time, the court will ask you if you plan to be represented by a criminal defense attorney. If you’re facing criminal charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it is important to protect and understand your rights. A criminal defense attorney like Leader & Leader, P.A. can offer you qualified legal counsel. It is often wise to seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer before your arraignment, because you may be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. While in most cases, it is best to plead not-guilty, an attorney can offer you advice on how to proceed.

In many instances, individuals don’t have information about the strength of the evidence gathered against them during an arraignment and their lawyers usually haven’t had a chance to make negotiations regarding sentencing. Once your lawyer has information about the strength of evidence against you from a police report, your criminal defense lawyer can offer you advice about how best to move forward with your case. In some cases it is wise to fight your case in court and in other cases it may make sense to take a plea bargain.

According to the Legal Information Institute, the arraignment serves several purposes. The first is that it clarifies the charges being made against you, and, secondly, it provides you with documentation regarding those charges. In some cases, you don’t need to be present for an arraignment, but you must waive this right. If you’re not sure whether you should waive your right to be present, it is wise to speak to your criminal defense lawyer.

Your arraignment hearing is a right guaranteed to you. It is your first chance to defend yourself before a judge and make a public statement regarding the charges being filed against you. Of course, any statements you make can be used against you in trial. For this reason, it is a good idea to seek the advise of a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer before your arraignment hearing. If you have questions about your case, your rights, or the charges being filed against you, visit today to learn more. Our criminal defense lawyers offer a free, initial consultation to review your case.

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