What is an arraignment?

If formal charges are filed against you, an arraignment will be scheduled. The arraignment is not a trial and not a time when evidence can be presented. At most arraignments, a copy of the charges you will be provided to you, if you do not have a lawyer, the judge can determine if you are eligible for a public defender. Expect to have a plea of “not guilty” entered at your arraignment. Your case normally will be scheduled for a status hearing, omnibus hearing, and trial. You must attend your arraignment hearing.

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1. Is my public defender a “real lawyer”?
2. Since you’re paid by the government, the same as prosecutors, aren’t you just working together?
3. Can I call or drop by the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense for some quick legal advice?
4. What is an arraignment?
5. What is a pre-trial hearing?
6. What is a trial readiness hearing?
7. What happens in trial?
8. What happens in a sentencing hearing?
9. How does COVID-19 impact my court hearings?
10. How do I discuss my case with my attorney during COVID-19?
11. What is a bench warrant, and what can I do if I have one?
12. What if I have a prior conviction for possession of controlled substance, aka Violation of Uniformed Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA)?
13. Why hasn’t my attorney gotten my case dropped?
14. What if I forgot my court date?
15. How do I get my record vacated/sealed?
16. If I have a problem with my court-appointed lawyer, how do I complain?
17. What can I do to help with my case?