What is an Arraignment? What it is, and what happens if you ignore it.

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

Chandler DUI or Criminal Charge – Arraignments – What to Plea
Among other reasons, the primary reason for an Arraignment is to inform the court of how you wish to plea. It is never a good idea to plead guilty to any Arizona crime or DUI or criminal charge before consulting a DUI or criminal defense attorney. Arizona has some of the toughest DUI and criminal laws and penalties in the country. You should retain an experienced AZ DUI and criminal attorney to defend you. Good criminal defense attorneys may be able to use certain defenses that may lead to a reduction or dismissal of your criminal charges. In the least you should consult a Chandler DUI or Criminal defense lawyer to get information about your charges, consequences of a guilty plea and your defense options.

Criminal Court – Arraignment for Chandler AZ Charges
For Chandler 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 be required to appear is generally determined by the nature of the charges, and jurisdiction where you were charged. Most felony arraignments are held in Arizona Superior Courts. Most misdemeanors are held in Arizona Justice Courts. However, some felonies can initially begin in a lower court such as Arizona justice courts.

Arraignment: “Failure to Appear”- Chandler DUI or criminal charges
If you have not retained a DUI or criminal defense firm, you must appear at the court location, date, and time designated. If you “fail to appear”, a warrant may be issued for your arrest under criminal code:

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 Chandler DUI or criminal defense attorney, they will give you further instructions. In many cases your defense attorney can vacate the arraignment date, through alternative legal channels so you do not have to appear in person.

What Happens at an Arraignment in Criminal Court
At your arraignment 1) the Judge will confirm your address, identity; 2) explain your rights; 3) read your formal charges; 4) advise you of the potential range of penalties if convicted; 5) find out if you plan to retain a criminal defense attorney; 6) and how you wish to plead to the DUI or criminal charge(s).

Types of Pleas that You Can Entered at Your 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 Chandler AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. For felonies a future date and time will be set for your sentencing hearing.

“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 felonies a future date and time will be set for your sentencing hearing.


If you face 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 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.