Long Island Arraignment Attorneys Serving Suffolk & Nassau Counties

Retaining an experienced attorney can mean the difference between freedom and jail time. Don’t put your freedom at risk. Schedule a free consultation with our Long Island arraignment attorneys for dedicated representation you can trust. Protecting the rights of clients in Suffolk and Nassau County for over 25 years.

When someone is arrested in New York for a criminal offense, arraignment is an important step in the judicial process. Most people are unaware of the importance of arraignment in legal cases. If you have been charged with a crime, you probably have lots of questions. What is an arraignment? How does the process work? Should you contact a lawyer? This common legal proceeding happens regularly in New York City. New York processed more than 67,000 arraignments in 2020, according to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

At The Matera Law Firm, we understand that the criminal justice system can overwhelm those who are faced with accusations. Our skilled Long Island arraignment attorneys can help to secure a positive outcome in your case. Arraignment Attorneys in Long Island, NY The Matera Law FirmArraignments do not always happen immediately following an arrest. If the person is accused of a low-level offense, they might receive a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) from the court. This means that the arraignment will be scheduled for a future date. If the arrested person does not receive a DAT, they will typically be held until their arraignment. The person will not be held for more than 24 hours.

The accomplished arraignment lawyers at The Matera Law Firm are among the best in Long Island. If you are facing a criminal charge in Nassau or Suffolk counties, do not wait. Contact us immediately. Our lawyers have more than 25 years of combined experience. We have handled arraignments for countless clients and have the experience necessary to build a powerful defense for you. Call The Matera Law Firm today to schedule your no-cost initial consultation.

What Are The Types of Pleas In A Criminal Case?

There are several steps to an arraignment in New York state. An arraignment is a point in the judicial process at which your lawyer enters your plea. The pleas in New York criminal courts are “guilty,” “not guilty,” and “no contest.”


When a defendant pleads guilty to a crime, the judge may sentence them during the arraignment. Immediate sentencing only happens if the crime is relatively minor. Additionally, the defense lawyer and the prosecutor can negotiate the sentence if a plea of guilty is entered. For serious crimes and infractions, judges will typically set a sentencing hearing for a future date.

Not Guilty

Most of the time, arraignment attorneys advise their clients to plead not guilty. When a plea of not guilty is entered, the prosecutor begins building a case against the defendant. The defendant’s attorney can review any evidence that the prosecutor submits. They can use this information to plan a strong defense for the accused. Entering a plea of not guilty places the burden of proof on the state. At The Matera Law Firm, we know how to effectively defend the rights of our clients. We understand that anyone who has been accused of a crime deserves a powerful defense.

No Contest

A plea of no contest is an admission that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict the defendant. However, the defendant is not admitting to the crime when they plead no contest. A no-contest plea typically carries the same sentence as a guilty plea. However, this plea does not entail an admission of guilt. Often, defendants will plead no contest in exchange for a lighter sentence or a conviction for a lesser charge. The arraignment attorneys at The Matera Law Firm will thoroughly review the circumstances of your criminal charge. Our team will provide you with trustworthy advice to help you secure the best outcome in your case.

How Does The Formal Arraignment Process Work?

There are several steps to an arraignment in the state of New York. The process of an arraignment includes:

Ensuring Legal Representation

All defendants have the right to an attorney. Individuals without representation are provided with a court-appointed lawyer. But it is crucial to contact a skilled defense attorney to effectively protect your rights. The arraignment process is stressful and confusing for the accused. Having a qualified legal professional fight hard for your best interests will ensure the best result for you. If someone you know has been held until their arraignment, contacting qualified arraignment attorneys is vital.

Reading the Charges

Formal procedures require the court to read the criminal charges out loud for the defendant to hear. Experienced arraignment attorneys will often waive the formal reading. Instead, they will receive a copy of the criminal complaint, also called an “accusatory instrument.” This document contains the list of charges and allegations of legal violations in the defendant’s case. The criminal complaint also outlines the facts used to support the criminal charges. Typically, this document is signed by a law enforcement officer.


After the charges have been read, the formal process involves the serving of “notices.” These notices reveal information that is important to the defense lawyer, such as:

  • Any alleged statements that the defendant made to police officers
  • Any reports from persons who claim to have witnessed the crime

If there is a recording of the defendant’s interrogation, it will not be submitted at the arraignment. Rather, the “sum and substance” of the interrogation will be read aloud. Arraignment attorneys can use this information to build the strongest defense possible.


Some cases are resolved at the arraignment. Others require further courtroom proceedings. If a case cannot be resolved at the arraignment, the assistant district attorney may request bail. Bail is a monetary sum that the defendant deposits to ensure that they will appear for future court appointments. Not every case requires the defendant to make bail. The overseeing judge may release a defendant on their own recognizance if the judge does not think bail is necessary. There is no standard bail amount for criminal charges. Some factors that can influence the amount of bail in a criminal case include:

  • The defendant’s family status
  • The defendant’s standing in the community
  • The defendant’s employment status
  • Their financial resources
  • The nature of the criminal charge
  • The defendant’s criminal history

The bail for Long Island arraignments can range from $250 to $20,000 for misdemeanor offenses. Felony offenses can require bail of more than $20,000. The skilled arraignment attorneys at The Matera Law Firm can help to argue for the lowest bail possible in your case.

Further Proceedings Arraignment Lawyers in Long Island, NY The Matera Law Firm

As we noted above, some criminal charges are resolved on the date of the arraignment. But most cases require future court appointments. When future court dates are necessary, they are usually scheduled from one to three months after the arraignment date. The court appointment following the arraignment can serve the purpose of filing discovery, relevant depositions, or motions. If your case goes to trial, it will happen at least six months after the arraignment. Most criminal cases are resolved before they reach the trial phase.

Arraignments for felony charges also involve the Assistant District Attorney notifying the defendant that the case will be presented to a Grand Jury. The defendant has the option to testify if this is the case. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you to determine the best strategy in your case. Contact the accomplished Long Island arraignment attorneys at The Matera Law Firm if you have been accused of a crime.

Speak with the Experienced Arraignment Attorneys at The Matera Law Firm

If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge in Long Island, do not wait. The dedicated arrangement attorneys at The Matera Law Firm will work tirelessly in your defense. Our firm employs former prosecutors, so we know how to counter common prosecution strategies. With nearly three decades of combined experience, our arraignment attorneys have a track record of success. Contact The Matera Law Firm today for a free consultation to begin planning your defense.

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