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Arraignment

OKC Criminal Defense Firm Fassio Law is ready to help! See common questions about arraignment below.

WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT MY ARRAIGNMENT?

Your first court appearance for any charge will be an arraignment. An arraignment is usually triggered in one of two ways. Either you are arrested, or charges are filed while you are out of custody.

An arraignment is basically the court appearance where you are formally informed of the charges against you, and you will probably be given paperwork that shows the charges – that paperwork is called an Information. 

A not-guilty charge will be entered, pretty much automatically. The judge expects a not guilty plea. So don’t worry about whether or not you should even consider entering any other type of plea at arraignment. It’s way too early. The only other significant thing that happens at arraignment, other than being informed of your charges, is that you will be told when your next court date is scheduled.

ARRESTED AND NOT BONDED OUT (IN CUSTODY ARRAIGNMENT)

If you have been arrested and you have not bonded out, you will be arraigned while you are in the jail, probably through a video arraignment. Meaning you will remain in the jail but will be taken to a room with a video setup where you see the judge via video and the judge informs you of your charges.

If you are not in jail, the procedure for your arraignment will vary somewhat depending on what county has filed charges against you, and the timing of when the charges are filed.  For additional information – see below, under the county in which you are charged.

OKLAHOMA COUNTY ARRAIGNMENT INFO

Arraignments in Oklahoma County are always scheduled at 1:30 p.m. before Judge McCray, on the fifth floor of the Oklahoma County Courthouse at 320 Robert S. Kerr Avenue in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA COUNTY – CHARGES NOT FILED YET

If you were arrested and then bonded out before charges have been filed, you will be given an arraignment court date when you bond out.

If charges have not been filed by your arraignment court date, your arraignment will be rescheduled, about a month out. This is referred to as being a “no file” because the State has not yet filed charges.  It is pretty common for this to happen. Because of the number of charges that are presented to the D.A. in Oklahoma County, it usually takes them longer to get the charges filed than the first arraignment date.

Your case can be a “no file” up to three times. If charges are still not filed by the 3rd arraignment court date, you will not be given another court date. You, your bondsman, and/or your attorney will just have to watch and keep track and wait for when charges are filed. When they do get filed, you, your bondsman, and/or your attorney will schedule your arraignment court date.

OKLAHOMA COUNTY – CHARGES FILED

During the time period before your arraignment court date, law enforcement will present information about the charges to the district attorney, and the district attorney will determine the appropriate charges that should be filed. Often it is the exact same charges that you were arrested for, but occasionally the prosecutor will make changes to the charges. For example, if you were arrested for burglary 2, the prosecutor might decide that burglary 1 charges are more appropriate.

If the charges have been filed before your arraignment court date, you will be arraigned at that court date, meaning you will be formally informed of the charges, given paperwork showing the charge (the “Information”), and you will be informed of your next court date.

OKLAHOMA COUNTY – CHARGES FILED WITHOUT AN ARREST

If charges are filed against you, and you have not been arrested or bonded out, then a warrant will be issued. Don’t worry! You can arrange with a bondsman to do a “walk-through.” A walk-through means you coordinate with your bondsman ahead of time and schedule a time to go to the jail to get processed. Getting processed means going through the book in process where you get fingerprinted and have your book-in picture taken, it usually takes a couple of hours. But it’s much better to do this on your own terms than having the police come to your house or job and arrest you! So you definitely want to arrange the walk-through as soon as possible.

You will do the walk-through on a weekday morning at the Oklahoma County jail, it can be any day except Tuesday because Oklahoma County does not do walk-throughs on Tuesdays. On the same day that you do the walk-through, your arraignment will be held that afternoon at 1:30.

CLEVELAND COUNTY ARRAIGNMENT INFO

CLEVELAND COUNTY – ARRESTED AND BONDED OUT

If you  have been arrested and bonded out from the Cleveland County Jail, they will give you some paperwork that says you need to come in to the courthouse for your arraignment within 10 days. On the day of your arraignment, you will have to go to the Cleveland County Court Clerk, 200 S. Peters Avenue in Norman BEFORE noon to check in. That basically just lets them know who’s going to be appearing for the arraignment docket that afternoon.  Do not wait until 11:45 to check in because there could be a long line, and you might miss getting checked in.

There are three different judges in Cleveland County who could do the arraignment, it rotates. So when you check in, the court clerk will tell you which judge your arraignment will be before. Then you will go to that courtroom at 1:20 or 1:30 and be arraigned, meaning you will be formally informed of the charges, given paperwork showing the charge (the “Information”), and you will be informed of your next court date.

CLEVELAND COUNTY – CHARGES FILED WITHOUT ARREST

If charges are filed against you and you have not been arrested or bonded out, then a warrant will be issued. Don’t worry! You can coordinate with the court and a bondsman to get it taken care of.  

You will need to contact a bondsman to make arrangements to post your bond. Then you will schedule a time to go to the courthouse for arraignment. Arraignments are held at 1:30 at the Cleveland County Courthouse.

On the day of your arraignment, you will have to go to the Cleveland County Court Clerk, 200 S. Peters Avenue in Norman BEFORE noon to check in. That basically just lets them know who’s going to be appearing for the arraignment docket that afternoon.  Do not wait until 11:45 to check in because there could be a long line, and you might miss getting checked in.

There are three different judges in Cleveland County who could do the arraignment, it rotates. So when you check in, the court clerk will tell you which judge your arraignment will be before. Then you will go to that courtroom at 1:20 or 1:30 and be arraigned, meaning you will be formally informed of the charges, given paperwork showing the charge (the “Information”), and you will be informed of your next court date.

After that, you and your bondsman will go to the Cleveland County Jail to do your “walk-through” and clear the warrant and get processed: Getting processed means going through the book-in process where you get fingerprinted and have your book-in picture taken, it usually takes 1-2 hours. But it’s much better to do this on your own terms than having the police come to your house or job and arrest you! So you definitely want to arrange the walk-through as soon as possible.

CANADIAN COUNTY ARRAIGNMENT INFO

CANADIAN COUNTY – ARRESTED AND BONDED OUT

Arraignments in Canadian County are held once per month. So you will be given the next arraignment court date for the following month. In other words, if you bond out of jail on August 12, your arraignment date will most likely be the following month, in September.

On the date of arraignment, you will go to the Canadian County Courthouse at 1:00 p.m.  The Courthouse is located at 301 N. Choctaw Avenue in El Reno.  You will check in and be given a copy of the charges (the “Information”), and then sit in the courtroom and wait for your name to be called. Make sure your cell phone is turned off! 

When your name is called, you will  approach the judge, and then the judge will inform you of your next court date.

CANADIAN COUNTY – CHARGES FILED WITHOUT ARREST

If charges are filed against you and you have not been arrested or bonded out, then a warrant will be issued. Don’t worry! You can coordinate with the court and a bondsman to get it taken care of.  

You will need to contact a bondsman to make arrangements to post your bond. You and your bondsman will coordinate to do a “walk-through” and clear the warrant and get processed: Getting processed means going through the book-in process where you get fingerprinted and have your book-in picture taken, it usually takes 1-2 hours. But it’s much better to do this on your own terms than having the police come to your house or job and arrest you! So you definitely want to arrange the walk-through as soon as possible.