Greater Boston Criminal Arraignment Defense Law Firm


An arraignment in the Massachusetts criminal system is usually the first appearance that a defendant has in court when facing criminal charges. Individuals may be arrested and arraigned the next business day or may receive a “summons to defendant” in the mail informing them of the time, date and courthouse location where the arraignment is being held. Given that an arraignment involves being formally charged with a criminal offense, it is important to speak with an experienced Boston Criminal Defense Attorney about your upcoming arraignment.

What Will Happen at my Arraignment?

If you have been arrested and remain in custody, you will be transported from the jail to the courthouse for your arraignment. If, on the other hand, you posted bail or received a summons in the mail, you must travel to the courthouse on the date and time listed on the summons to defendant.

Usually, once you arrive at the courthouse, you will be interviewed by the probation department regarding your personal information. You will then be directed to the courtroom where you will wait for your case to go in front of the judge.

Generally speaking, once your name is called, the prosecuting assistant district attorney will read the offenses that you are being charged with. Next, the clerk magistrate will enter a plea of “not-guilty” on your behalf. Also, the judge will turn to the probation department and the court documents to determine whether or not you qualify for a duty attorney based on your income and the potential penalty for the alleged crime.

In many instances, the judge will ask a defendant if he or she wishes to represent themselves or if they plan to hire a private attorney. Usually, the judge will then give the person time to retain the services of a lawyer.

Importantly, if the judge has reason to believe that you may not appear for future court dates, he or she may hold a Bail Hearing at your arraignment. Depending on your specific circumstances, the judge may order you to pay a cash bail or surety in order to be released from jail. If you do not have enough money to post bail, you will be held in custody while your case is pending.

In addition to a bail hearing, a judge may hold what is known as a dangerousness hearing. A dangerous hearing is conducted when the prosecution believes that a person may pose a danger to society if released from custody. If the judge believes that the person poses a threat, the person will remain in jail until the next court appearance.

If you do post bail or are released on your own recognizance and your case cannot be disposed of on the day of arraignment, the court will then set a pre-trial conference date in the near future. On that date, you will need to return to the courthouse and go before the judge.

Massachusetts Arraignment Attorney

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested or has an upcoming arraignment in court, contact Caselden Law to speak with an experienced Cambridge, MA Criminal Defense Attorney about your options. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with top quality legal representation in courthouses throughout the Commonwealth.

Our firm is available to be by your side at your arraignment on very short notice. You may Contact Us by phone or online – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All initial consultations with the firm are free of charge.


Fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential initial consultation.