Misdemeanor Arraignment and Bond Hearings in the 15th District Court

When someone is arrested for a crime, they have to appear in front of a judge or magistrate.  The first time a person has that opportunity is for an arraignment and bond hearing.  The judges at the 15th District Court are Hon. Elizabeth Hines, Hon. Joseph Burke, and Hon. Karen Valvo.  The magistrate for the 15th District Court is Hon. Tamara Garwood.

The purpose of an arraignment is for the judge or magistrate to read all the charges for which a person is in the court system.  This can be the first time the person learns of what they are charged with, but most of the time they know why they are in court.

The purpose of the bond portion of the arraignment is to determine whether the person should be kept in jail while waiting to address their charges or released with certain conditions.  A judge or magistrate will decide on a bond by taking into account two main factors.  These are whether a person is a danger to society or others, and if they are a flight risk.

A judge or magistrate will look at a number of things when deciding if someone is a danger to society or others.  This includes prior criminal activity, what they are charged with currently, if anyone was injured as a result of the accused crime, their behavior while in custody, among other things.  If a judge or magistrate decides the person is a risk to hurt others, then they can deny bond.

A judge or magistrate will also look to see if there is a flight risk.  This means whether the person is at risk of disappearing or not returning to court.  They determine this by looking at the crime the person is charged with, where they live, where they are from, their resources, and their connection to the community, among other things.  If the judge or magistrates decide that the person might not return future court dates this can be a reason for them to deny bond.

If you are charged with a crime and need representation, call me so we can discuss your options before you are arraigned.  If you’ve already been arraigned, we can still address bond at future court dates.  To see search for your public criminal case on the 15th District Court website click this link https://www.a2gov.org/departments/15D/online-services/pages/case-search.aspx