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Cedar Rapids Criminal Lawyer: Arraignments and What You Should Know

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC


Arraignment is the defendant’s answer to the trial information or indictment. There are only three possible responses: guilty, not guilty, or previous conviction.


At this time, the defendant may once and for all insist on the correct spelling of his or her name, and this provides the last opportunity to do that, if it is an issue.


At an in-person arraignment, the judge will ask whether the defendant wishes the court to read aloud the trial information and, if unrepresented, ask whether the defendant seeks court appointed counsel, if otherwise qualified. A defendant can waive reading of the trial information and often does so.


Unless otherwise notified in writing, arraignments require the personal presence of the defendant. The judge can authorize a written arraignment to substitute for the personal presence of the defendant—but care should be taken to obtain unequivocal written notification of such a cancellation and substitution. In other words, when in doubt—show up for arraignment court to avoid an arrest warrant. The worst that can happen is that they send you home and tell you that the written arraignment is on file or sit for the in-person arraignment court. In either case, no warrant issues and the defendant’s bond conditions will typically remain as set.


If a substitution document is allowed, it is prepared by the attorney and must assure the court that the defendant has been advised of, and is aware of, all the rights and matters specified in this rule and that the full purposes of an arraignment have been satisfied.​

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC.


However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to a lawyer over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Arrangements for Arraignment an attorney licensed in Iowa and limited exclusively to the practice of criminal law may be able to assist a criminal defendant in the filing of a written arraignment to avoid what would otherwise be a required personal appearance at arraignment merely to read to the defendant a copy of the trial information, ask for a plea of not guilty, and either demand or waive speedy trial. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC  for a free initial consultation today at 319-389-1889.

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