Have you been charged with a crime in Louisville, Kentucky? How the arraignment process works
Arraignment is the process whereby a person charged with a crime is advised of their criminal charges. Additionally, the person will be advised of his or her Constitutional rights. The court will set bond and any accompanying conditions. For example, someone may be released on their own recognizance (R.O.R.) but prohibited from contact with the alleged victim or place of violation. Those defendants with some form of suspended or probated sentences may also expect to be served with written notice of the Prosecutor's intent to seek revocation of that jail sentence. For those facing felony charges who are not released and/or do not post bond, the Prosecutor must provide a preliminary or probable cause hearing on or before the tenth day post arraignment, exclusive of weekends and holidays. Those individuals who are charged with a felony and are released from jail are entitled to a probable cause hearing within 20 days of their arraignment, exclusive weekends and holidays.
If the person is in custody, their arraignment will be held at the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Corrections Department located at 400 South 6th Street, Louisville, KY 40202-2306 (502) 574-2167. Arraignment in this facility begins at 9:00 am. You will not be permitted inside the secure courtroom; however, the court has set up a room for relatives and interested parties to watch the arraignment on a closed circuit two way television system. When your friend or loved one appears before the Judge you may appear at a lectern that has a two way camera with the Judge, The Judge may ask you questions regarding the defendant's living arrangements, ties to the community, employment and other information the court may be interested in securing to determine an appropriate bond or conditions for release.
Educating the Judge and Prosecutor About My Client
Part of my job as an attorney is to educate the Court by providing accurate information regarding my client's ties to the community, work history, criminal history, risk assessment to self or others, family and friends involvement with the defendant, and prior attendance in court. Please call me immediately upon the arrest of a loved one or friend. Judges routinely set bonds approximately every 4 hours. The Judge will review the charges, review the warrant/citation, criminal history, and information regarding the defendant's prior court attendance. The setting of a bond is based on the defendant's risk to self or others, prior criminal record, and risk of failing to reappear in court. The Pretrial Services worker will provide additional information and an assessment to the Judge and advise whether a defendant is a low, medium or high risk not to reappear in court. If your friend or loved one calls, please tell them to be polite and answer the Pretrial Service worker's questions.
At this point a Judge has several options. The Judge may decide to release a person on their own recognizance (R.O.R), release the defendant on a set of conditions such as no contact with the prosecuting witness or no driving, the Judge may set a bond for the defendant to post, or the Judge may agree to release the person on Home Incarceration. Given the experience of the bench in Jefferson County and the statutory language, the Judges in Jefferson County traditionally set reasonable bonds. Part of my job as an attorney is to provide the Judge with accurate information regarding my client ties to the community, work history, criminal history, risk assessment to self or others, family and friends involvement with the defendant, and prior attendance in court.
Pretrial/Probable Cause Hearing Date
Those charged with misdemeanors will be given a date to reappear before the appropriate court for subsequent proceedings. While a person cannot be compelled to speak, it is often beneficial to respond to the court's inquiries concerning job status and living arrangements. The court is looking to assure itself that the defendant has ties to the community and will return to court. If you were arrested and released, the Pretrial Services worker will give you information concerning the time and court in which you must appear for arraignment.
If you have been released from jail or merely cited, please wait for me to arraign you in the courtroom you have been assigned. I will be representing several other clients on the same day I am representing you. If you have not talked to me by 10am on your court date if you have morning court or 2:00 pm if you have afternoon court, please call my cell at (502) 648-1759. If your name is called by an officer, prosecutor, Judge or clerk, please politely inform them that I am your attorney and I may be contacted at (502) 648-1759 if they have any questions or need to speak to me immediately. No witnesses or police officers are subpoenaed to appear at Arraignment. You will not have to say anything at this hearing. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, our local court rules permit an attorney to appear at your arraignment without you having to be present.
If you are released from jail, the Corrections department will provide you with a yellow discharge paper which will provide you the date, time, and location of your arraignment court date. After you are released from jail immediately call my office and schedule an appointment to come see me.