Frequently Asked Questions

What is an arraignment?

A.     An arraignment is the initial court hearing which takes place after an arrest or indictment for a crime where all the preliminary issues are discussed. In state court, the arraignment should take place within 14 days of the initial filing of the charge. The court generally reads the complaint against the defendant and asks the defendant to plead "guilty" or "not guilty" to the charges. You do not have to plead to the charges until you have reasonable time to examine the evidence and consult with a lawyer. If you plead guilty, you are admitting to the crime. If you plead not guilty, you are stating you did not commit the crime and the court will set a date for trial.


What is a plea and what is a plea bargain?

A.     In a plea bargain, you will generally negotiate with the prosecution and plead guilty to a lesser charge. This way, you are able to avoid a full trial. There may be serious repercussions to any plea agreement, so it is important to thoroughly discuss your options with an experienced attorney. 


What are motions and how do they affect me?

A.     Throughout your case, you will hear your attorney refer to various motions. Motions are how the defendant and the prosecution request that the court make a decision regarding a contested issue and they usually follow oral or written persuasive arguments.  


Seek Experienced Representation

If you are facing criminal charges, our attorneys will support you and your family from start to finish.  To learn more about your rights and how we may be able to help you, contact the Law Offices of Browne & Scanlan today for a free initial consultation.