I was charged with a federal crime. My arraignment is scheduled. What is an arraignment in federal court in North Carolina?


The arraignment is the court appearance in which you will enter a formal plea of “guilty” or “not guilty”.  A U.S. Magistrate Judge or a U.S. District judge will conduct the arraignment.  This may be the same judge who will conduct a sentencing hearing if that is necessary in your case.  The judge will inform you of your rights and ask questions to make sure that you are making informed decisions.  The judge will ask you questions to make sure that you and your lawyer have communicated about these issues.  If you are adequately prepared, this hearing should be uneventful.   You will be prepared if you and your lawyer have discussed these issues and understand the consequences of the decisions that you are making.  Again, it is critical that you make these decisions based upon reliable information and thorough analysis.

R. Clarke Speaks
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Trial Lawyer and Founder of Speaks Law Firm, P.C.