Definition

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The process by which one is formally accused of a crime.

Drogin, Eric Y., et al. Handbook of forensic assessment: Psychological and psychiatric perspectives. Vol. 209. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

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    When a person that is accused of committing a crime is taken to court, told about the charges, and asked to plead "guilty" or "not guilty."

    California Superior Court. “English Legal Glossary” (2005)

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    Arraignment is the bringing of a defendant before the court to answer the matters charged against him in an indictment or information. The defendant is read the charges and must respond with his plea.

    State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Superior Court Operations Division. “Glossary of Legal Terminology – Most Frequently Used Terms”

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    Arraignment is a proceeding in which the accused is brought before the court to plead to the criminal charge in the indictment or information. The charge is read to him or her and he or she is asked to plead guilty or not guilty or, where permitted, nolo contendere (no contest). Another term for preliminary hearing.

    National Center for State Courts. “Glossary of Commonly Used Court & Justice System Terminology”, Rev. 2/8/11 (2011)

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    Arraignment is usually the first court proceeding in a criminal case. The judge tells the defendant what the alleged offenses are, and what rights defendants have. The judge asks the defendant to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest.

    Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Women’s Legal Rights Handbook” (2015)

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    In a criminal case, the proceeding in a felony case at which an accused is brought to the court to hear charges read and to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.”

    State Bar of Wisconsin. “News Reporters’ Legal Handbook”, 6th Ed. (2013)

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    In criminal law, the initial appearance of the defendant before the circuit court. At that time, the charges against the defendant are read to him or her, and the defendant enters a plea.

    Missouri Press-Bar Commission. “News Reporter’s Legal Glossary” (2009)