An Arraignment is the first time the charges are read before a judge or jury. Each charge is read to you separately. You will also be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty for each of the charges.
Arraignment will occur more than once for each criminal trial.
When does an arraignment take place?
An arraignment occurs after you have been committed for trial or sentencing in the District Court by the Local Court. Generally, in a criminal trial, arraignment can take place on 3 separate occasions.
- You will be arraigned before a judge in the district court at first mention.
- You will be arraigned during the pre-trial hearing. Pre-trial hearing is when questions of law are dealt with. Some examples of questions of law include, whether the court has the power to hear the case and the admissibility of evidence.
- You will again be arraigned in front of the jury before trial commences.
An arraignment before the jury panel is the formal commencement of the trial.
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