What Happens at an Arraignment Hearing?
After a defendant has been arrested or summoned on a criminal complaint, an arraignment hearing is set. At arraignment, the defendant is advised of his or her rights. In a misdemeanor case the defendant enters a plea to the alleged offense. The pleas are:
- Guilty: This is a complete admission of guilt
- No Contest: This is not an admission of guilt, but is an admission of the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. The plea of no contest shall not be used against you in any later civil or criminal proceeding.
- Not Guilty: This is a denial of the charge and puts in issue all of the essential elements of the offense.
- Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
Pleas of Guilty or No Contest are usually disposed of the same day at arraignment with the Judge sentencing the defendant.
In a Felony case, a plea does not need to be entered at arraignment and the case is scheduled for a Preliminary Hearing before the Court to determine if enough evidence exists in the case to bind the case over for consideration by the grand jury in either Butler or Warren County Common Pleas Court.