“Arraignment” is defined under the New York State Criminal Procedure Law as “the occasion upon which a defendant against whom an accusatory instrument has been filed appears before the court in which the criminal action is pending for the purpose of having such court acquire and exercise control over his person with respect to such accusatory instrument and of setting the course of further proceedings in the action”.
In the real world that is the time that the arrested individual first sees the Judge. It is also the time that any criminal notices are first served. And most importantly the time that the Court determines bail for the arrested person.
Bail is solely designed to insure the arrested person’s appearance at each and every Court appearance and there are certain factors that the Court must take into account when deciding whether there should be bail set. According to the Criminal Procedure Law, the factors are: The arrested person’s Character, Reputation, Habits, Mental Condition, Employment and Length Thereof, Residence and Length Thereof, Family Members which have ties to Client, Educational Background, Criminal Record, Previous Record in Responding to Court Appearances, Weight of Evidence, Improbability of Conviction, Sentence which may be Imposed, Client a US Citizen, Medical Disabilities, Psychological or History of Health Problems, Financial Resources of Client, and the CJA Recommendation. There are other factors which vary with the particular circumstances of each case and circumstances surrounding the arrest.
As you can see this process is extremely important and have great penalties and you should have an experienced attorney representing you in these matters from the very moment of your arrest to trial. It will in most instances mean the difference of an innocent man sitting in jail pending trial or being let out on bail pending trial. Which situation would you rather be in?