What happens during and after an arrignment?

I told my ex that I was pregnant and he said that if I didn’t have an abortion he would push me down the stairs when he saw me. One day he really did push me; it wasn’t down the stairs but it it was hard enough that I fell. He then dragged me from one house to the next telling me to get away from him. Now he is getting arraigned and I want to know what does this mean? What will happen next? Must I go to court?

Asked on March 24, 2011 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An arraignment is really the criminal term for an appearance before the court where the person that is accused of the crime - the defendant - gets to plead to the indictment or information as "guilty" or "not guilty."  Bail is usually set at that time as well. Generally speaking the complainant - that would be you - does not have to appear at the arraignment.  You will, however, have to testify at a trial. What you also need to do is speak with the prosecutor's office and make sure that they request that the court issue a restraining order against your ex and that it be placed in effect asap.  This way you have some measure of protection is he should make bail.  Good luck to you.

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