When you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense, you first appear in court for arraignment. During your arraignment, the court tells you the specific criminal charges being brought against you, advises you of your constitutional rights, and notifies you whether or not you are eligible to be released on bond, and the amount of the bond. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may ask the court to appoint one for you.

Arraignments Are Held in Front of a Magistrate or Judge.

If you are arrested for a felony, your arraignment normally follows the day after your arrest. Felony arraignments are held before a judge or a magistrate who sets a date for a preliminary exam within 21 calendar days following arraignment. If you are eligible and able to post bond, then you are released to appear on your preliminary examination date. If you are not eligible for a bond or cannot post it, you are sent to the county jail until your examination date.