When you need an arraignment lawyer, you need that lawyer immediately. An arraignment attorney must be available to you 24/7 and 365 days of the year. If I can't personally appear at your arraignment, I'll find you an experienced arraignment attorney who can.
When it's over, you will remember it as one of the worst days of your life. You receive a phone call; perhaps at 3 a.m.:
"Mom, I've been arrested"; or
"Dad, get me out of here"; or
"Honey, I need you to get me a lawyer"; or
"Dude, I'm in serious trouble."
Your close friend or family member is at a New York City police station, somewhere, under arrest, soon to be arraigned in Criminal Court.
Arraignment is the Criminal Court proceeding at which an arrested person becomes a defendant - formally accused of one or more crimes. With rare exception, a defendant must be arraigned in person.
In New York City's five boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island - arraignment typically occurs with 18 to 24 hours after arrest.
Each person accused of a crime, referred to as the "defendant" by the Court, has the right to be represented by a lawyer at arraignment; and, if the defendant can't afford to hire one, to have the court appoint a lawyer.
The judge informs the defendant of the charges. The defendant's lawyer receives a copy of the accusatory instrument (a "complaint", "information", or an "indictment") that the prosecutor has filed in court.
Most importantly, the judge decides whether to set "bail". Bail is a sum of money (which must be posted by a person other than the defendant), that will permit the defendant to be "at liberty" (free) until the case is resolved.
If the judge doesn't set bail, then the defendant is "released on his own recognizance" ("ROR'ed") or "paroled" - free without bail until the case is over. If the judge sets bail, then the judge will typically order that bail be posted in the form of cash or a "bail bond".
When you get the 3:00 a.m. phone call from your loved one or friend - "Bro', I need a really big favor" - stick to the following script (writing down the information you receive):
- Say, "Only answer my questions, say absolutely nothing else." (Repeat this as often as necessary. You don't want your loved one to say something incriminating in the presence of a police officer.)
- Ask, "What is the name of your arresting officer?"
- Ask, "What is the arresting officer's telephone number?"
- Say, "Tell the police you will not speak until you have a lawyer with you."
- Say, "I'm hiring a lawyer for you."
- Say, "Don't say one word to the police."
You should immediately contact and hire a criminal lawyer in New York. You will want that lawyer to do several things:
- Immediately contact the police and direct them not to question your loved one.
- Find out what the charges are.
- Attempt to negotiate a "desk appearance ticket", if possible.
- Inform you of the maximum amount of bail that the judge might set, so that you can be prepared to post it in court if necessary.
- Refer you to one or more bail bondsmen.
- Interview your loved one in the courthouse holding pens.
- Represent your loved one in court.
Over the course of my career, I've been the arraignment lawyer for hundreds of clients. When your loved one calls you from police custody at 3 a.m., or at any other time of day, call me immediately at 646-480-1278.
Don't hesitate. Too much is at stake.
For you reassurance of my dedication and devotion as a criminal lawyer in New York to help fight your case, read about my career and background.