What Happens at an Arraignment?


your arraignment, you will arrive at the Courthouse.

  1. You will be dressed in a way that demonstrates that you take this event very seriously.
  2. Also, you will check with your lawyer to make sure that cellphones are permitted.
  3. Your lawyer will escort you to the Probation department to check in your attendance. Checking in at the probation department simply means that you are present for your arraignment. Their job here is too is too take basic biographical data on you and check that you have arrived at the courthouse.
  4. Review with your lawyer if a cash bail may be necessary to get your release. If you anticipate a cash bail, you should walk into court with actual cash in your pocket.


  1. Your name will be called out loud. At that point, your lawyer (and you) will stand, your lawyer will direct you to a microphone or place where the defendant stands.
  2. Your attorney will inform the court that you plead not guilty the clerk will read the charges.
  3. If bail is requested, or conditions imposed there will be a hearing to discuss those conditions and why they are necessary. Sometimes, they can be simplistic, such as stay away from a location or person, or sometimes, more invasive like house arrest or drug screens. Either way, those issues are discussed with your lawyer well in advance of the arraignment.
  4. In some case, the Commonwealth will request a Dangerousness Hearing or “58A” hearing which can also take place at some Arraignment dates. A Dangerousness Hearing is not detailed in this post.
  5. However, besides, conditions or release, bail or 58 hearing, the court will release you until the next court hearing or pre-trial conference as it is generally called. ###
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