Arraignment Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Arraignment.

Arraignment (noun)

Arraignment is a formal event in the legal process which marks the defendant's first appearance before court in a criminal case. In this proceeding, the judge officially informs the defendant of the charges against them. The defendant is then asked to respond with a plea (such as guilty, not guilty, or no contest). If the defendant cannot afford a legal representative, the court assigns a lawyer to them at this time.