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What You Need To Know About Arraignments in Louisiana

It can be confusing dealing with the legal process once an arrest has been made. There are many terms being used that you probably aren't familiar with as well. Let's clarify the arraignment process, as it is the first court appearance the defendant will make after an arrest.

What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is when the defendant (the person accused of committing the crime) appears in court for the first time. The judge will advise them of the charges they are being accused of, after which the defendant will plead either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The judge will then advise them if they will be released on bail or not, as well as any restrictions they must abide by until their case is finalized. 

This appearance may either be in person or by video conference. This is a simple meeting, it is not the time when a jury is involved or when the attorneys battle it out with each other. You will not be defending yourself on the stand at this point.

How can bail differ for felonies and misdemeanors?

Bail amounts can differ greatly by dollar amounts based on whether your crime is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. For felonies of a violent nature as well as capital crimes, bail may not be set at all. At the judge's discretion, some misdemeanors will not require a bail amount and the defendant is released on their own recognizance. 

How does the judge determine bail?

Whereas other states tend to base bail amounts by the category of the crime, Louisiana has a schedule of bail amounts they follow based on specific crimes, not categories. This can cause quite a variation in bail amounts. For example, cyberbullying will have a different bail amount than petty theft even though they are both misdemeanors. The judge has the authority to take other factors into account, such as criminal history, the severity of the crime, the likelihood of the defendant causing harm to the community, etc.

If you or someone you know needs bail assistance, give Bad Boyz Bail Bonds a call! We are here for you 24 hours a day and ready to help.

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