What happens at the federal arraignment hearing? Arraigned on Information or Indictment?

In this short video, federal criminal defense attorney Anton Vialtsin discusses what happens at the arraignment hearings in Federal Court. There are two ways to be charged in federal court, by information or indictment. When the person is indicted that means a formal accusation initiating a criminal case was presented to a grand jury. Alternatively, accused my waive indictment in certain cases and proceed by information. This means that he would be charged informally. In the Southern District of California District Court, prosecutors routinely offer an accused an opportunity to waive (give up) indictment. In exchange, he or she will present an individual with an offer under the Fast-Track program. (This program will be discussed in a future video, but it reduces the federal guideline range that the individual faces).

Regardless of how the person is ultimately charged, the magistrate judge will read him the charges and take his plea. At this stage of the proceedings, your attorney will likely have you plead NOT guilty. This plea will continue the case moving forward and give your attorney an opportunity to review all the discovery.

The magistrate judge will then set a motion hearing / trial setting date and assign a district judge to your case. The district judge will conduct the trial (if you wish to take the case to trial) and sentencing hearing.
Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law

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