Gavel on book

Preparing for Your New York Arraignment

An arrest can be a frightening experience. Unfortunately, however, arrest is only the beginning of what is often a long legal process. The first formal step of this process is called an arraignment. And if you’ve been arrested in New York, it’s critical that you know what to expect at your arraignment. Therefore, in addition to reviewing the information below, it is recommended that you contact an experienced New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to assist you with your case.  

What To Expect 

Arraignment must take place within 48 hours of an arrest in New York. The court often sets a bail amount at arraignment, so it’s important that your criminal defense attorney attend the proceeding. And although some arraignments only last for a few minutes, you should expect to be at the courthouse for several hours, as arraignments are often delayed for a variety of reasons.    

Following your arraignment, if you’ve been released, it’s likely that your next court appearance will take place several weeks later. However, if you remain in custody, your next court appearance will be sooner. 


The first thing you must do to properly prepare for your arraignment is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. You must decide how to plead at your arraignment, and a New York attorney will walk you through the process and help you determine the best course of action. Other important preparations include: 

  • Arrive early – If you were released following your arrest, be sure to show up early for your arraignment. 
  • Wear nice clothing – Appearance is important. Suits, dress shirts with slacks, and skirts are all appropriate courtroom attire. 
  • Check in with the court upon your arrival – Be sure to check in when you arrive at the court. However, don’t approach the judge without permission.
  • Pay attention – Once in the courtroom, listen attentively for your name to be called, and then respond promptly. 
  • Respond to the judge’s questions about your charges – At your arraignment, the judge will ask if you understand your charges. Answer honestly. If you don’t understand them, request that the judge explain them to you. However, if you are represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney, he or she will be sure that you understand everything you need to know about your charges and case. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that you hire an attorney prior to your arraignment. 

Preparing For Your Arraignment? You Need An Attorney!

If you’ve been charged with a crime in New York, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. At Barket Epstein, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you are fully apprised of your legal rights and provided with the most effective defense possible against all criminal charges. Please contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a consultation.