The arraignment procedure occurs at two different proceedings in Pennsylvania and both of these proceedings occur prior to trial. The specific rules for what occurs at the two arraignment proceedings is set forth in the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The arraignment proceedings are the preliminary arraignment and the formal arraignment. The main difference between these two proceedings is the timing. The preliminary arraignment occurs sometime between the time either the individual is arrested or at the preliminary hearing. The formal arraignment occurs after the preliminary hearing and before trial.
Generally, at both forms of arraignment, the Court informs the defendant what he is being charged with, when his next court date is, obtains/confirms personal background and contact information about the defendant, sets/confirms bail, and informs the defendant his right to plead not guilty, his right to an attorney, and his right to remain silent. At either of these proceedings, the rules of criminal procedure give the defendant the right to be represented by counsel. Anytime a person is scheduled to appear for any type of a court appearance, including preliminary or formal arraignments, he should consult with and be represented by counsel.
For a free consultation, call the experienced and aggressive attorneys at the Kelly Law Firm.