Arraignment in Columbus, Georgia

Criminal procedure starts with the defendant’s first appearance in front of a judge, also called the “initial appearance.” The initial appearance allows the arresting officer to provide an overview of the arrest to the court. During this appearance, the prosecution announces all of the charges being brought against the defendant. This hearing is called arraignment, where the defendant will then be asked to submit a plea.

Initial Appearance

If the defendant has not yet been bailed out of jail, he or she will be brought in front of a judge within 48-hours for an initial appearance. If the defendant has been bailed out, however, this appearance can happen several days or weeks later.

For state and superior courts, there is usually only one arraignment during the criminal prosecution. In municipal court, however, there can be several before a case is resolved. This gives the state attorney the option to respond to any discovery requests that may be made.

What Happens During Arraignment?

Aside from hearing all charges brought against the defendant, the initial appearance also allows for a reading of rights and appointment of an attorney. The defendant is required to file all motions either before or during arraignment, making it crucial to have a skilled attorney present to assist.

An attorney can also waive arraignment, meaning all motions and a plea of “not guilty” are filed before the defendant has to appear in-person. This is a more common option, as most arrestees do not need to have charges explained.

If you’re facing criminal charges and are in need of an attorney, call Wadkins & Wadkins LLC at (706) 221-9451 or fill out our online form to schedule a free review of your case.