Whether you are guilty or innocent, being charged with a crime is a scary experience. Getting ready for the first hearing, called arraignment, can be particularly nerve racking. Fortunately, you can ease your anxiety about your first court date by learning exactly what to expect.
n almost any criminal case, the defendant will be faced with a choice -- (1) go to trial and face severe consequences if they lose or (2) plead guilty in exchange for lighter consequences. Depending on the nature of the charges, the difference could be years in prison versus probation or a career-ruining criminal conviction versus the equivalent of a speeding ticket. Throughout the entire case, the prosecutor will be there reminding the defense attorney, and ultimately the defendant, of what's at stake.