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Victim's Rights When the Defendant is Arraigned

You have the right to be in court for the defendant's arraignment. This is when the accused person is formally charged with the crime. The defendant pleads "guilty," "not guilty," or "no contest," and is either held in jail, released on bail, or released with certain restrictions.

Bail is money left with the court to guarantee the defendant's appearance at future hearings. You have the right to be told by the prosecutor's office of issues concerning the defendant being released on bail. You can tell the prosecutor your position on this. The prosecutor will let the judge know your feelings.

You have the right to know if the defendant is released into the community. and the terms of his or her Conditions of Release. These are rules the defendant must follow while the case is pending. Usually they include a provision that the defendant not contact the victims or have only supervised contact. You will need to tell the advocate and/or the law enforcement people if you want this information. You need to update them if you change your address.