What happens at an arraignment?
You have a right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay-usually within two court days-after being arrested. At the arraignment, you will appear before a judge who will inform you officially of the charges against you. An attorney may be appointed for you if you can't afford one, and the bail can be raised or lowered depending on the circumstances of the case. You also can ask to be released O.R., even if bail was previously set.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can plead guilty, no contest or not guilty at the arraignment. A plea of "no contest" means that you will not contest the charges. Legally, this is the same as a guilty plea, but it cannot be used against you in a non-criminal case if the charge you pled to is a misdemeanor.
If you decide to plea "not guilty" at arraignment, you should retain an attorney or if you cannot afford one, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent you. Thereafter, the case will proceed to a pretrial conference and trial if the charge is a misdemeanor or preliminary hearing and trial if the charge is a felony.