How Long After Arraignment Is Trial (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 45 days

A criminal law case usually begins with some punishable mischief done by the criminal. This mischief gets caught by the police and the police arrests the individual and files a report in his name. The report accounts for all the mischiefs he had done along with some eyewitnesses to support the statements of the police. The report or its alternative copy is not available for the defender. However, it may be provided to the defender’s lawyer. This is done to keep the witness’s details secret.

The criminal along with his case would be forwarded to the prosecutor who would study the case in-depth and decide the right punishment and charges to be borne by the criminal. Sometimes, the prosecutors are kind enough to ignore minor charges. However, the prosecutor is too strict in some cases and does not leave a single mistake uncharged.

How Long After Arraignment Is Trial?

Type of caseTime
Demeanor cases30 days
Felony cases45 days

The criminal would be in jail or in the custody of the police for about 48 hours. Within this duration, the prosecutor needs to decide the punishment or charges to be levied on him. Any holidays or weekends cannot deter this time boundary of 48 hours. After this, the criminal would be taken to the court. This first-time encounter of the criminal and the court is known as an arraignment.

During the arraignment, the criminal’s case is presented by both sides and then the criminal is informed about the charges and punishments levied on him. He is even informed of the rights vested to him by the constitution. If the criminal doesn’t have enough money to hire a lawyer, the court helps out the case and hires a lawyer for the criminal. After this, if the criminal wants to file a plea against those charges, then he/she can do it over there.

The most common pleas which are filed by the criminal are the no guilty ones. Apart from this, the guilty and the nolo contendere ones are even famous. As the name suggests, the not guilty plea is filed by the criminal to prove his innocence. As the name suggests, the guilty plea is filed by the criminal to prove that he is guilty of the crime. The nolo contendere plea is also known as the non-contest one. It is filed by the criminal in cases where he doesn’t want to agree with the charges and punishments levied on him.

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Some minor processes are conducted after arraignment. The process to be carried out mainly depends on the type of plea filed by the criminal. These intermediary processes may be time taking. Hence, if the person is in police custody, he will have a trial date within 30 days of arraignment. However, if the person is not in police custody, he will have a trial date within 45 days of arraignment. These time lengths are fixed. Generally, no deviations have been noticed in these timings.

Why Should One Wait So Long For Trail After Arraignment?

The end step of arraignment is the signing of a plea by the criminal. The pleas are further processed depending on their kind. If the criminal has filed for a non-guilty plea, then both sides of the case are allowed to discuss and discover other areas of the case. During this time, the criminal wouldn’t be allowed to know the depth information of the case in detail. However, his lawyer would be allowed to.

On the other hand, the lawyer is bound by the laws of the court not to disclose any information regarding the witnesses of the other side of the case. After this, the two sides of the case can go for some actions. This is followed by a healthy discussion between the judge and the lawyers representing both sides. They discuss settling the case without going for the trial at the court. This is applicable in some specific cases where the criminal is guilty of a crime that may be regarded as a misdemeanor.

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If the criminal has committed any kind of felony case, then a preliminary hearing session will be arranged. During this preliminary hearing, the judge would be convinced by the help of proofs that the criminal should be taken for trial, then he asks the sides to prepare the documents. The same process of discussion and filing of motion is carried on before the trial. If the case goes unsettled between both sides, then the trial is conducted.

The trial date is fixed according to where the criminal stays after the process of arraignment. The process between arraignment and trial is lengthy. These processes are formal, which means they have time bounds. This is why the trial is not conducted after the arraignment. Healthy discussions between both sides need time which is provided during the duration of 45 days.

Conclusion

Not at all cases can be dragged to the trial court. If this happens, then the really serious cases would get suppressed for years under the burden of minor cases. The number of cases even goes on increasing day by day. Hence, an arraignment is a necessary legal procedure. Besides saving the time of the court and the lawyers representing both sides of the case, it even allows enough space and opportunities for cases that really deserve a trial.

An arraignment may be regarded as a procedure that is done before the actual process of trial. This is done to discuss the case with the huge and reach out to a possible conclusion without going for the lengthy trial process. This is a really vital process before the trial cases. Most cases get resolved over here. However, cases which do not get resolved at the arraignment are free to go for trial.

Reference

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/rwulr5&section=22
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1951767
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