Alexandria Robbery Arraignments
If an individual is arrested in Virginia, the person will appear before a judge, as soon as the next day or within 72 hours. The first hearing is called an arraignment and during this proceeding, the person is advised of their charges and asked what they intend to do about their right to legal counsel. An arraignment for robbery is generally similar to an arraignment for other felony offenses.
Robbery cases in Virginia are going to be considered felonies, therefore, the accused has the constitutional right to an attorney and should exercise that right as soon as possible. If you are facing an arraignment for your robbery charges in Alexandria, you should get the help of an experienced robbery attorney who can advise you moving forward.
While the public is typically expected to hire their attorney, there are cases in which the court may have the accused fill out a form to request counsel. If the court determines that the accused is indigent, the court will appoint an attorney to represent them. If a person tells the court that they intend to hire an attorney or the accused is ineligible for appointed counsel, the accused will be given information on when to notify the court who their attorney is.
Different courts handle the private attorney process differently. There may be review date by which a person is to notify the court who their attorney is or there may have a new court date assigned, which is the preliminary hearing date or a compliance date at which the accused is expected to have an attorney present. If a person is held without bond or held for an initial bond determination, the court may allow more leniency in being appointed an attorney until the accused is released to potentially secure their own attorney.
Arraignments in Alexandria for robbery charges typically take place at Alexandria General District Court, if the accused is arrested on a warrant of arrest. Then at Alexandria Circuit Court, if the accused is arrested after a direct indictment from the grand jury.
Role of an Attorney
If an individual has an attorney prior to arraignment for robbery charges in Alexandria, it can be helpful for a number of reasons. An attorney can take away some of the anxiety of facing the proceeding alone. Unlike other states, in Virginia, the accused does not enter a plea at arraignment, which is one of the many details that an attorney can explain to their client before the hearing. Depending on the offense, an attorney may advise a person to waive the reading of the rights. This means that rather than appear before the judge to have the charge, what it means, what the potential punishments are, and what the person’s rights are read in open court, the accused can waive that reading and reduce their anxiety and potential embarrassment.
Additionally, an attorney can help schedule later proceedings. There may be instances in which the accused wants to set a date sooner, for example, to set a date for a motion for bond. This can be extraordinarily helpful if the attorney is traveling to court, there are scheduling deadlines, and to get a general timeframe of how long the criminal matter is ongoing.
The attorney may also be able to gather important information to assist the accused in their defense at the Alexandria robbery arraignment. That may be the first time that the attorney has the opportunity to see the criminal complaint or speak with the prosecutor or someone representing the prosecutor’s office. While it is uncommon for the arresting officer to appear at arraignment, it does happen and an attorney would have the opportunity to try to get more information from the arresting officer as well.