After a person has been arrested, the first part of the criminal process will generally involve an arraignment. In Oregon, this is required to happen within 36 hours of arrest excluding weekends and holidays. During the arraignment, the defendant is given a formal reading and list of the charges against the person. They can then enter a plea. In almost all cases, the defendant pleads Not Guilty. In some cases, the judge won’t accept a Guilty plea without the defendant having received legal counsel. Without such counsel, it is impossible to guarantee a fair trial.
For felony charges, the defendant is required to appear in person while a misdemeanor arraignment can be done with an appearance by the defendant or their defense attorney. All of this is done in accordance to the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees the accused the following:
- Right to a speedy and public trial in the state and district where the alleged crime occurred
- To be informed of the nature of the accusation
- To be confronted by the witnesses against him/her
- To have the assistance of counsel in his/her defense
Some people may be embarrassed that these proceedings are public, but the truth is secret courts would be a far worse alternative. By ensuring that this is done in public, it prevents unfair rulings and guarantees that every defendant receives the due process they deserve under the law. The arraignment is just the first part in this process, ensuring that all of a defendant’s rights are respected.
If you have been arrested in Portland or anywhere in Oregon, Kroll & Johnson can help. We understand how scary it can be to face criminal charges and we work compassionately with our client to help them. We will aggressively challenge any and all evidence against you and fight to make sure that your rights are respected under the law. We diligently work to achieve the best possible outcome for each of our clients. To speak with a defense attorney about your particular charges, contact Kroll & Johnson today for a free consultation.