The Arraignment Process in the United States

New York-based lawyer James Kilduff works as a trial attorney at Lazzaro Law Firm, P.C. Specializing in criminal defense, James Kilduff is an experienced lawyer often called upon to provide legal representation for parole and probation violations, plea negotiations, preliminary hearings, and arraignments.

The arraignment is the first step in a trial and may also be referred to as an initial appearance. At an arraignment, the court explains the nature of the charge and penalties to the person charged (defendant) and informs the defendant of their right to trial or trial by jury and to legal counsel. This takes place by way of a formal reading of a document in the presence of the arrested person in a court of law.

Should the charges in question relate to a misdemeanor, the defendant will enter a plea once the reading is complete. This plea will determine the next step in the trial process: the judge may either set a trial date, arrange a sentencing date, or impose appropriate penalties, sentencing, or probation conditions immediately. Should the charge be classified as a felony, the defendant will not enter a plea, but rather the court will schedule a preliminary hearing and the judge will set a bail amount.

What Are Controlled Substances?

Lawyer James Kilduff is based in Brooklyn, New York, where he serves at Lazzaro Law Firm, P.C., as senior trial attorney. As a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer, James Kilduff often represents persons charged with controlled substance-related offenses in the New York City district.

In the United States of America, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) handles the administration of matters pertaining to drugs and other chemicals and substances, collectively known as controlled substances. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) regulates manufacture, distribution, possession, importation, and permitted uses. Drugs and chemicals listed within the CSA include hallucinogens, narcotics, anabolic steroids, stimulants, and depressants. Alcohol and tobacco do not appear within the CSA.

Substances classified as “controlled” are further divided into five separate groups according to their medical uses and the potential for dependency or abuse. The first group contains the drugs considered the most dangerous and with elevated chances for dependence or abuse, whereas the fifth category is for drugs with a lower potential for abuse.