Criminal Procedures

The Criminal Process

Is there a difference between the initial appearance and the arraignment?

There is at the federal level. In a federal criminal case the federal rules of criminal procedure require “a person making an arrest within the United States must take the defendant without unnecessary delay before a magistrate judge or before a state or local judicial officer.” This must take place very soon after the arrest. The arraignment then takes place later.

Federal Requirements at Arraignment: Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 10(a) states the following:

  • (1) ensuring that the defendant has a copy of the indictment or information;

  • (2) reading the indictment or information to the defendant or stating to the defendant the substance of the charge; and then

  • (3) asking the defendant to plead to the indictment or information.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Law Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App