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Arraignments Primer
A CJER Online Course

During arraignments you must inform defendants of their constitutional and statutory rights, read the charges against them, determine probable cause and, if appropriate, release them on bail or OR.  This is the first court appearance in all criminal prosecutions, from which subsequent hearings proceed.

The rules discussed in this course apply to adult defendants only.   There are different rules for juvenile defendants.  For an overview of the rules that apply to juvenile defendants, see CJER’s online course, Juvenile Delinquency Hearings

CJER’s Arraignments Primer is the first in a series of criminal law and procedure online courses for bench officers.

Learning Goals

As a result of this course, you will be able to:
  • Appoint counsel for defendants
  • Advise defendants of their constitutional and statutory rights
  • Inform defendants of the charges against them
  • Take pleas
  • Determine probable cause
  • Rule on bail and OR requests
  • Rule on Faretta Motions
  • Know when to order a competency hearing
  • Ensure defendants’ speedy trial rights are not violated in the arraignments context
  • Refer appropriate defendants to DEJ and diversion programs

We estimate that the course will take one and one half hours to complete, depending on your experience.

This course contains numerous review questions.  These are training exercises for your own practice only; no record is made of any of your responses to the questions.

Your feedback is important to us for the development of future courses.  After finishing this course, please take a few minutes to complete the Evaluation form. After completing the evaluation, you may print a certificate of completion for your own records.  This course will help satisfy your continuing education needs.

Refer to the Help page for additional information on course features and system requirements.

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Updated January 2013, covering legislation, rules, and cases
through January 1, 2013.

  © 2008 Judicial Council of California