Arraignment: Never ignore your Arraignment. Find out what happens if you do not appear, and how it can be used as the first step in your defense.

Don’t Plead “Guilty” to a Mesa DUI or Criminal Charge before Consulting a Good Mesa DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney. Experienced criminal lawyers may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a dismissal of your charges.

Pleading Guilty verses Not Guilty to Mesa DUI or Criminal Charges
Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea. Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea.

You should not plead guilty to a Mesa DUI or criminal charge before consulting a DUI or criminal defense attorney. Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws, criminal laws, and penalties for conviction in the USA. Your best chance at getting a good outcome in your matter is to retain a good AZ DUI or Mesa criminal lawyer to defend you. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know, and may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a reduction or dismissal of your criminal charges. In the very least you should consult a Mesa DUI or Criminal defense lawyer to get information about your charges, consequences of a guilty plea and your defense options.

Arraignments in Criminal Court in Mesa AZ
For Mesa AZ criminal or DUI charges, you will be given a complaint at some point following your arrest (if in custody) or a summons will be delivered to you (if you are not in custody). It will contain information concerning location, date and time you are required to appear at criminal court for your Arraignment.

The court location for where you will need to appear is usually based on the nature of the charges, and jurisdiction where you were charged. Most felony arraignments are held in Superior Courts in Arizona. Most misdemeanors are held in Justice Courts in Arizona, such as Mesa Justice Court. However, some felonies can initially begin in the lower courts in Arizona.

“Failure to Appear” for Your Arraignment for Mesa Criminal Charges
If you have not retained a private DUI or criminal defense lawyer, you must appear at the criminal court location, date, and time as scheduled. If you “fail to appear”, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest under Arizona Law as follows:
1) “A.R.S. 13-2506 in the second degree; classification” Failure to appear for Misdemeanor Charges;
2) “A.R.S. 13-2507 in the first degree; classification” Failure to appear for Felony Charges
If you have retained a Mesa DUI or criminal defense attorney, they will give you further instructions. In some cases, your Mesa criminal lawyer can vacate the arraignment date and providing the court with the required information on your behalf through alternative legal channels. In this event, you do not have to appear in person for the arraignment.

What Happens at an Arraignment in Criminal Court
Among other reasons, the primary purpose of your Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea to the Mesa criminal or DUI charges. You can also expect the some or all of the following events to happen as well: the court will also confirm your identity and current contact information; explain your rights; read your formal charges; advise you of the potential range of penalties if convicted; find out if you plan to retain a criminal defense attorney.

Types of Pleas that can be entered at an Arraignment
There are three possible pleas to a criminal or DUI charge:
“Not Guilty” – This means that you are denying guilt. In this case, the burden of proof is with prosecution to prove your guilt of the criminal charges against you. If you enter a plea of not guilty on your arraignment date, the Judge will set your case for either a pre-trial conference or a formal trial date.
“Guilty” – You admit or agreeing that you committed the act charged; that the act is prohibited by law; and that you have no legal defense for your act. The Mesa AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For Felony charges they will usually set a new date and time in the near future for a hearing concerning your sentencing.
“No Contest” – This means you are not admitting you are guilty; but that you also do not wish to challenge the charges or evidence at a trial; and you will accept the conviction, sentencing and punishments of the criminal charge. The judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For Felony charges they will usually set a new date and time in the near future for a hearing concerning your sentencing.


If you face criminal or DUI charges, have an outstanding warrant for arrest in Arizona or have been arrested in Maricopa County for AZ DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving or any other criminal charges contact the Law Office of James Novak, for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499. Speak directly with experienced Arizona criminal Defense and DUI & Criminal defense Attorney, James Novak (Former Prosecutor). The Law Office of James Novak is devoted 100% to defending DUI, Drug & criminal charges in valley wide within Maricopa County including Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert Tempe Arizona, East Valley, AZ and surrounding cities within the Phoenix metro and Maricopa County Areas.

This blog has been posted for general public informational purposes only. All articles by this author are intended to raise awareness and generate discussion on a variety of Arizona State Law issues and topics. Note that Arizona legislation, laws, criminal code and AZ DUI & criminal laws and penalties frequently change. If you have any active criminal or DUI or criminal defense matters related to this topic, it is important that you consult or hire an Arizona criminal or AZ DUI or criminal defense law firm in the jurisdiction of Arizona where you received your charges of up to date information on the laws, penalties and defense options.

Updated: