The beginning of a criminal case can be confusing to understand. If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense in Rhode Island, you may see a Judge at the Police Station who will set bail and the terms of you release pending a further court hearing or potential trial.
The Judge who comes to the Police Station to handle your case is referred to as a Bail Commissioner or Justice of the Peace. In most cases the Bail Commissioner will set bail and you will be released from the Police Station with paperwork to appear in Court. Your first Court appearance is referred to as a “Re-Arraignment” or District Court arraignment.
The re-arraignment in Court is the commencement of the formal court proceedings. Once again, in most cases the District Court Judge will keep in place the existing bail conditions set by the Bail Commissioner. The proceeding is called a Re-Arraignment due to the fact that the proceeding at the Police Station with the Bail Commissioner is considered an informal arraignment.
In some cases, when an individual is charged with a felony offense they may be given paperwork for a re-arraignment to address adding bail conditions that were not imposed by the Bail Commissioner. In some cases (frequently felony drug charges and felony drunk driving cases) the Police will request a re-arraignment so that additional conditions such as counseling and/or drug testing can be added by a District Court Judge.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Rhode Island and you have questions about an upcoming re-arraignment, contact Attorney Matthew Marin for experienced legal advice and representation.