Arraignment when charged with a criminal offense in Massachusetts

For many, the arraignment date following an arrest is the first time stepping into a court house to face the judge. For this reason, many people are nervous about their arraignment date and, understandably, do not know what to expect. The arraignment date will be held in a timely manner after you have been released from the police department; commonly they are the next morning at the district court house, or, if you were arrested over the weekend, you can likely plan to go to court the following Monday. Whatever your case may be, an officer at the police department or the bail officer will let you know what day to be there so do not stress over the date itself.

In an effort to help ease any anxiety you may be feeling, I want you to understand that the arraignment date is mostly an administrative court date in which you will appear (very briefly) in front of the judge. When you arrive at the court house, you can look for signs which may indicate which court room to appear in or you can always head to the clerk’s office if you have any questions or are confused.


Once in the court room, the judge will eventually call your name at which point you will walk up to the stand. Don’t stress over this, a court officer should be in the court room to help guide you to where you need to be. When in front of the judge, you will be read aloud your charges and will be formally asked to enter a plea of “not guilty”. This may be a nerve-wracking situation for some, but the arraignment date itself is painless. At this point, you will be given a pretrial court date- a date that you should plan to appear.

Because the arraignment date is scheduled so quickly after you have been arrested, do not worry if you have yet to contact an experienced attorney. Following the arraignment, you will have plenty of time to contact and ultimately hire an attorney should you chose to do so. The attorneys at DelSignore Law are available to answer any questions you have whether before or after your initial arraignment. With this being said, if you have to appear by yourself, without an attorney on your arraignment date, do not stress about it.

When at the court house, try to get a copy of your police report to fax or email over to us DelSignore Law. We will review the police report and give you a good idea of what to expect as your case proceeds. In the meantime, contact us at DelSignore Law whether you are awaiting your arraignment date or have been given a pretrial date, so we can get started on your case.

If you still have questions regarding the steps you should take following your arrest, read more about what to do after being arrested for a dui here.