What Happens at an Arizona Arraignment?
By Zachary Mushkatel on March 11, 2013
If you or someone you love has been arrested as a result of suspected criminal activity, you may wonder what the next step involves. Arizona criminal cases are prosecuted according to procedural rules set forth by Arizona law.
Arizona law requires prosecutors to file official charging documents that inform defendants about the criminal acts they are accused of having committed. The hearing at which the accused person formally hears the charges is known as an “arraignment.” Generally, at an arraignment, the court verifies the person’s identity, informs him or her of the charges and possible sentence, informs the person of his or her constitutional rights, and allows the person to enter a plea.
At an arraignment, most people enter a plea of “not guilty.” A not-guilty plea at arraignment denies guilt and requires the state to prove every element of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. It also gives you time to investigate the case, study the evidence against you, and prepare your defense.
Finally, entering a not-guilty plea at arraignment gives you time to find an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney. In some situations, the court will appoint an attorney for you if you cannot afford one. In others, you will need to seek an attorney’s help on your own. At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, our experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome in every case we handle, while also fully protecting each client’s legal rights. For a confidential consultation, call us today at (623) 889-0691.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.