Arraignment is normally the first hearing with a judge or magistrate assigned to you case.  The purpose of the arraignment is to advise you of 1) the charges against you, 2) the possible maximum penalties for those charges, 3) your constitutional rights, and 4) your right to counsel and qualification for court-appointned counsel.

 

In some counties, you may not need to appear at an arraignment if you have retained an attorney and you sign certain forms.  Each district court is different, so it is important that you consult with your attorney about the procedure used in the district court where you are charged.

I give a brief explanation of the arraignment below: