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Southern California Criminal Arraignment

If you have been arrested on suspicion of criminal activity, you will be given a Notice to Appear. The Notice to Appear will indicate the date and place where you must appear before a judge to have your case heard. It is always best to be accompanied by a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands the criminal arraignment process and can explain your rights and options. At Hoffman & Associates, we have over 30 years of courtroom experience in California and have successfully defended thousands of clients facing all types of criminal charges.

Your first court appearance is called an arraignment. What happens at the arraignment includes the following:

  • The prosecutor will make you an offer
  • The judge will ask you to enter a plea
  • You will be given discovery
  • The judge will inform you of your right to seek counsel
Understanding the Prosecutor's Offer in a California Arraignment Hearing

Prosecutors have many cases they need to deal with, and will offer you a reduced sentence for pleading guilty. This plea helps clear up the prosecutor’s caseload and results in fewer cases being sent to trial. A guilty plea also helps save time and money for all parties involved. What you need to understand is that the prosecutor does not have your best interests in mind. What seems like a good offer at first glance, may not be one that is beneficial to you. The only way to determine if the prosecutor’s offer is a good one is for you to consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney.

How Should You Plead to Criminal Charges?

The judge will ask you how you want to plead to the charges —guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty, you will be given a sentence by the judge and your case is completed. If you plead no contest, the judge will also impose a sentence and your case is closed. If you plead not guilty, your case will be set for a pre-trial hearing.

Knowing the Evidence and Facts

At the arraignment you are able to receive a copy of the law enforcement officer's report from the night of your arrest. This report will be entered as evidence against you, Knowing what is in the report, and the facts presented, will help when you appear before the judge.

Your Right to Seek Counsel

At your criminal arraignment, the judge will inform you of your right to counsel. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you for free or at a reduced cost. Additionally, the judge will give you a continuance so that you can to speak to a qualified criminal defense attorney regarding your case. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can explain exactly what charges you are facing, and what the potential consequences may be, before you enter a plea.

At Hoffman & Associates, we offer a consultation to discuss the facts surrounding your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let us fight for your rights and reputation in court. We represent clients throughout California.

Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers Blog - Arraignment
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I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time... Micaiah Botts
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My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
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Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
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I have been working with Mr. Hoffman for over 11 years. I have seen first hand his genuine dedication to his clients, and how his experience, knowledge and passion have gotten clients fantastic results. He treats each of his clients as his only client, and takes the time to develop detailed strategies and defenses for each individual case. I have never hesitated to refer Mr. Hoffman to anyone who has asked me for a good Criminal Defense attorney. He is a fantastic attorney!... Neeta P.
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I had a DUI issue recently. I have never had a problem with the law as serious as this one. I did panic a bit after and knew I had to get a lawyer to help my future. I researched the Web and read the reviews for awesome DUI Lawyers. Hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. Ron's 30 years experience and step by step guidance helped me with my case. Jonie was amazing with keeping me calm. Ron Hoffman is a great lawyer and I would refer any friends or family to him... Manuel Gomez
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Ron was so accommodating and professional. With a Firm like his you wouldn't expect him to be as accessible, but he immediately returned phone calls, was easy to communicate with and was very sympathetic to my situation. He went above and beyond and was able to get a better result than I'd hoped or expected. I highly recommend Ron Hoffman and his firm. He made a difficult and anxiety fueled process bearable and made me feel safe. He is a lovely man. One does not wish to need a criminal attorney, but if you do need one, Ron's the guy to call... Teri A.
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Ron and his team were the perfect pairing for what I needed taken care of. Every step of the way he was extremely helpful and informative (not his first rodeo). His work ethic and attitude were exemplary and it showed with the results of using his services. I would recommend anyone I know to give Ron a call if they need help in his realm of expertise. Many thanks Ron and associates!... Donald N.
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I didn't hire a lawyer for my first DUI... What a mistake! Ronald goes above and beyond with his art and knowledge of custom strategy according to your case. lawyer of the year (every year)... Adam R.
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I hate lawyers. They are hard to get a hold of, greedy and unreliable. Ron is the opposite of all these things. He deserves 6 stars, and I very much recommend him. He helped me through my case with nothing but kindness, understanding, and knowledge and eventually got it dropped. Thanks for everything Ron!... Avi Z.