What to Expect During Your First Court Appearance and Arraignment
Your initial appearance in court will occur after shortly after you have been arrested and processed. You will be taken before a judge, who will then review the charges levied against you. The judge will then decide whether the court has sufficient probable cause to hold you on the charges. (There is also the chance that, instead of a judge, a different court official such as a justice of the peace will make this decision.)
This decision is the most important part of the initial appearance, but afterwards, several other things happen. You will have the charges levied against you explained to you and be given a copy of the charges. The court will inform you of your rights. You will be told you are entitled to legal representation. The court may set bail and schedule a hearing date. Your constitutional right to an attorney begins at this appearance, and if you cannot find one, the court will appoint one for you.
Later, you will have to make an appearance at your arraignment. An arraignment is just the first court appearance where you have to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, etc.) to the charges levied against you. It is unlikely that the prosecutor will attend this appearance, but your New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer is allowed to attend.
These first few steps in the criminal justice system can be very intimidating, but remember that you do not need to through the entire process alone. If you have been arrested for a crime in the state of New Hampshire and need legal representation, call experienced New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer Sven Wiberg today for a free consultation.
Sven D. Wiberg is an experienced criminal defense attorney practicing in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts with Wiberg Law Office (www.nhcriminaldefense.com).