What Happens at Your Arraignment

After you are arrested you will be given a first court date, called an arraignment. Typically on misdemeanors this court date will be approximately 30 days after you are arrested. On felonies it is usually about a week later. If you have not bailed out or been released on your own recognizance the law requires that you be arraigned within 72 hours of your arrest.

Arraignment is simply the date on which you enter a guilty or a not guilty plea. However, it is a serious mistake to show up at arraignment without an attorney.

Why? The answer is simple: on any criminal charge you face potential jail and/or prison time. Representing yourself is a mistake because even if you think you understand the criminal justice system, it is simply not set up for self-representation.

You have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney as well as a constitutional right against self incrimination, both of which you will be giving up by representing yourself.

Of equal importance, Paul Tyler has made more than 12,000 court appearances in the Ventura County courts. That means that he has been in court almost everyday for the past 12 years fighting for his clients on cases just like yours. Experience means that he knows what works and what doesn’t; what judges are more lenient than others; and what court procedures are the most likely to lead to the most favorable disposition of your case.

Some defendants make the mistake of thinking that they can just go in and plead not guilty at their arraignment and then hire an attorney later. Big mistake. On misdemeanor charges the penalties you face will increase if you do this because many settlement offers are made at arraignment only. Therefore, at least on misdemeanors, it is wise to try to evalaute and settle the case at arraignment first. If this fails or if there is a trial issue, a not guilty plea can be entered.

The bottom line is that if you are charged with any criminal case you absolutely need an attorney.

Paul Tyler is always available and you will have total access to him. You will not be pushed off on an associate attorney or paralegal, as many law firms do. To the contrary, he handles all of his own cases and all of his own appearances.

So before you do anything else, please call Paul Tyler at 805-889-9000. He will answer the call himself. Calls are accepted 24/7. The consultation is free and there is no obligation on your part.

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