Domestic Violence Arraignments
After a person has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, the case will be reviewed by a prosecutor who will determine whether or not to file criminal charges. If the defendant is charged with a criminal offense, he or she will be expected to appear in court for his or her arraignment. An arraignment is a defendant’s first appearance in court where the defendant is expected to enter a plea of “not guilty,” “guilty” or “no contest.” There are many important events that occur at a defendant’s domestic violence arraignment and it is important to know what to expect before the arraignment date.When Does The Arraignment Occur?
When a person is arrested for domestic violence, he or she will typically be booked into jail and may have to post bail in order to be released. The amount of bail depends on the charge and whether or not the defendant was arrested for a felony, such as corporal injury to a spouse in violation of California Penal Code Section 273.5 PC or a misdemeanor like domestic battery under California Penal Code Section 243(e) PC.
If the defendant is released from custody or posts bail or bond, he or she will be given a date to return to court for his or her arraignment. This future date may be weeks or even months later. If the defendant is unable to post bail, he or she would remain in custody. The case would be referred to a prosecutor who has 48 hours to file charges, excluding weekends and holidays. If no charges are filed, the defendant would have to be released.What Happens at a Domestic Violence Arraignment?
At a defendant’s domestic violence arraignment, certain events will occur. California Penal Code Section 977(a) PC allows attorneys to appear on behalf of their clients for most misdemeanor crimes. However, a judge can require a defendant to be present for his or her domestic violence arraignment.
At the arraignment, the defense will be given a copy of the complaint and the incident reports. The case will be called and the defendant, through counsel, would be expected to enter a plea of “guilty,” “not guilty” or “no contest.” If the defendant pleads not guilty, the Court will determine whether or not to set bail or whether to release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (“O.R. release”).
The Court is required to issue a protective order that would prevent the defendant from engaging in violence, threats, harassment or stalking against the named victim. The Court will typically issue a protective order that would prevent the defendant from having any contact with the named victim. The Court may entertain reducing the protective order to a “Level One” protective order at a later date that would allow peaceful contact between the parties.
If the defendant pleads “not guilty,” the parties will select a future date to return for pretrial. The defendant may have to waive his or her speedy trial rights when setting a pretrial or trial date. If the victim is present at the arraignment, that person may be ordered to return to Court for trial.
If you or someone you know have been arrested for domestic violence and have an upcoming arraignment date, it is imperative that you meet with an attorney experienced in defending domestic violence cases as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut begins work immediately on behalf of his clients who are facing potential domestic violence charges. In many cases, Mr. Kraut’s early involvement in a case prior to arraignment has led to charges being rejected or significantly reduced.
For more information about domestic violence arraignments, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.