Criminal Law – Bail and Arraignments
If a person is arrested for a criminal misdemeanor in Rhode Island (RI) there are several potential scenarios. The police could hold the accused and bring him to Court Fachanwalt Strafrecht for an arraignment in District Court in the morning. The police also could call a justice of the peace / Bail Commissioner who could arraign the accused at the police station and release the person. The bail commissioner could also set bail in order for the person to be released.
It is usually not advisable for a person to give a statement to the police without a Rhode Island (RI) Criminal Lawyer / attorney. However, there are exceptions to every rule!
The accused who is arraigned by the justice of the peace must still attend a more formal arraignment in District Court after he / she is released from police custody.
The formal arraignment is the court hearing where a criminal defendant either pleads not guilty, or nolo contendere to the criminal charges. Nolo contendere means the person is admitting to the charges but is not contesting them. A defendant should never plead guilty. A nolo contendere plea is not a conviction unless there is a suspended sentence, fine or jail time. The scope of this article does not pertain to expungement law or a detailed explanation of the different pleas and sentences that can be imposed.
It is usually a very bad idea for a person to plea nolo contendere without an attorney at the arraignment. However, there are exceptions to this rule especially if the person will be held as a probation or bail violator. It is usually very strongly advisable that the defendant says not guilty and retains a Rhode Island criminal lawyer. If the accused cannot afford a private criminal attorney they should go to the Rhode Island Public Defender’s office.