What happens between the arrest and criminal sentencing is not always clear. Yet, it is important to understand the process, so you can know what to expect and prepare with the right legal representation.
What is an Arraignment?
An arraignment is your first court date. This may or may not happen before you are released after your initial arrest. If you were given bail, the posted amount ensures that you show up to court for your arraignment date. If you were not given bail, or you declined it, you will await your arraignment hearing in jail.
You can expect an arraignment hearing within 48 hours of the initial arrest. During the arraignment, you will hear the legal charges that you are facing. The defendant is expected to enter a plea at this time. Depending on the details of your case, you might plead, guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Also dependent on the legal charges you’re facing, you may or may not be released while you await your sentencing date.
When to Expect Sentencing
Whether or not you await sentencing in jail, you are likely concerned about how long you have to wait until sentencing. During the time between your arrest and your sentencing date, you should complete the following steps:
- Discuss your case with a lawyer
- Begin to build your case
- Determine how you will plead
- Make note of your upcoming hearing dates
The exact timeline depends on many factors, including the charges you’re facing and the schedule of the court. However, you do have a right to a speedy trial under the United States Constitution. All defendants are expected to have a court date within 30 days from the arraignment or the plea submitted, if you are currently in custody. If you are not currently in custody, then you can expect a court date within 45 days of the arraignment or plea.
When to Expect Sentencing in a Felony Case
This timeline can look a little different if you are facing felony charges. With felony cases, there is another court date between the arraignment and the sentencing dates.
The preliminary hearing is where the district attorney will present any, and all, evidence they have against the defendant. Defendants have a legal right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of their initial arraignment. While it is possible to waive this right, your preliminary hearing must be scheduled within 60 days of the arraignment.
Felony cases can include additional dates like an information arraignment or an information hearing. For this reason, it can be useful to work with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer when navigating your arraignment and sentencing dates. Not only will your lawyer help ensure that you are given your right to a speedy trial, but they will also assist you as you navigate your legal options. Navigating a criminal defense doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side.
Contact an Experienced Trenton Criminal Defense Lawyer About You Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with criminal charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with criminal charges in Hamilton, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
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