A typical arraignment consists of some or all of the following:
Arraignments are usually held within 48 hours of a suspect’s arrest if the suspect is in jail. If the suspect has bailed out or was issued a citation, the arraignment typically occurs several weeks later. The exact timing of arraignments varies from one locality to another.
The requirement that a suspect be arraigned shortly after arrest is intended to protect the suspect. A quick arraignment before a judge means that suspects can’t be required to languish in jail while the police rummage around for enough evidence of criminal activity to support a charge. All states must adhere to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that an arraignment should take place “as quickly as possible” after arrest. (Mallory v. U.S., U.S. Sup. Ct. 1957). For more on the time within which the authorities must bring arrestees to court, see Arraignment: Getting to Court.
By bailing out, a suspect can count on the arraignment being delayed for at least a week or two. The delay rarely disadvantages a bailed-out defendant, because speedy arraignments are intended primarily to benefit jailed suspects. However, in an unusual case, a bailed-out suspect might still ask the judge to dismiss charges because of a delayed arraignment. To be successful, the suspect would have to demonstrate that the delay was extraordinary, that it was not the suspect’s fault, and that it ruined the suspect’s opportunity to present an effective defense (perhaps because it allowed a crucial defense witness to flee the country).
To learn more about arraignments, see the following articles.