Can you get out of jail on arraignment date on felony charges?

It is POSSIBLE, if the judge sets it immediately. but usually that decision is made at a separate Bond Hearing which comes later in the process.


You should be able to be out of jail before the arraignment date, because the "bond hearing" comes before the arraignment not later.

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5 requires an arresting officer to bring an arrestee before a magistrate "without undue delay" for an initial hearing into the circumstances of the arrest and charges. The court is required to advise the arrestee of his right to pretrial release. The Rule states the court must either detain or release the arrestee.

F. R. Crim. Procedure 46 states that pretrial release from custody is governed by the statute at Title 18 United States Code Section 3142. That law states that: "Upon the appearance before a judicial officer of a person charged with an offense, the judicial officer shall issue an order that, pending trial, the person be--- . . ." released or detained according to the provisions of the statute.

Subsection (f) of the statute states that the court may hold a detention hearing to determine if pretrial release is appropriate. The hearing shall be held immediately upon the person's first appearance before the judicial officer unless that person, or the attorney for the Government, seeks a continuance.

In other words the bail, or detention hearing takes place at or immediately after the initial hearing, which takes place "without undue delay" after arrest.

The "arraignment" under Fed. Rule of Crim. Pro. 10 takes place at a later date and is mostly a formality where the defendant's gives his plea. By arraignment date, all bail issues will have been resolved, although not necessarily to the arrestee's liking.

In New Jersey, the first appearance after arrest must take place within 72 hours of the arrest. At the first appearance the court must admit the arrestee to bail in accordance with other court rules. If the arrestee cannot make the initial bail, the court will review the amount not later than the next day except for Sundays/holidays. The actual arraignment might not occur until weeks the arrest especially if the arrest precedes the indictment.


Another View: The conclusion of the second contributor narrowly focuses on FEDERAL rules of procedure, and since the overwhelming majority of felony cases occur, and are tried, within the STATES, the original answer was given in the context of state criminal procedure. Therefore the conclusion of the second answer is only specifically applicable within that narrow scope.

In felony cases, the Bond Hearing does NOT precede the Arraignment. Pre-trial release is not synonymous with pre-arraignment release. You can't be released from jail on bail or bond if no one knows what felony offense you are charged with, and no one knows what the charges against you are until you are ARRAIGNED!

"Arraignment Law & Legal Definition

Arraignment is usually a criminal defendant's FIRST appearance in court or before a judge on a criminal charge. At arraignment, the charges against the defendant will be read or the defendant will be asked if he/she is aware of the charges against them, and will be asked how they wish to plead. It is not a hearing to determine guilt or innocence.

If the accused remains in jail after their arrest, they must be brought before a judge for arraignment within 24-48 hours after arrest. The exact time limit varies though the U.S. Supreme Court now requires that if a person was arrested without a previously-issued warrant, they must be brought before a judge within 48 hours, so that a judge may determine whether there was probable cause for the arrest."


"Bail Law & Legal Definition

Bail is the money a defendant pays as a guarantee that he or she will show up in court at a later date. For most serious crimes a judge or magistrate sets bail during an arraignment, or in federal court at a detention hearing.

The Constitution of the United States directs that "excessive bail shall not be required." (Amend. art. 8.)

For minor crimes bail is usually set by a schedule which will show the amount to be paid before any court appearance (arraignment). For more serious crimes, the amount of bail is set by the judge at the suspect's first court appearance. . . . ."

Another Corrective Answer to the First Answer

1. Below is a Related Link to the Rules of Criminal Procedure for most states. A quick check of each one will show that for the most part they follow the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, therefore the above statement that the Federal Rules procedure ONLY applies to federal situation is misleading. The basic procedure of initial or first appearance and then arraignment is followed.

2. Answers to legal questions using dictionary definitions, whether legal or otherwise, for terms such as "arraignment" is probably erroneous, especially when such a term has an explicit definition in a law or statute. One cannot say that the procedure at an arraignment is one thing based on a dictionary definition, when the actual court rules of procedure specify something else. ALWAYS go with the primary authority, rather than the secondary authority.

3. A quick read of the actual rules for what happens at "initial appearances" and "arraignment" shows that getting out of jail , whether on bail, recognizance or dismissal of charges begins with the initial appearance.

4. A comparison of the procedure that obtains at the initial appearance includes decisions relating to release on bail. The rules on procedure at arraignments do not mention bail UNLESS it hasn't been done by that time.

5. The vast majority of felony offenders have the charges explained to them at the initial appearance. This is because most felony arrests are made during the commission of the crime. The indictment comes later, if there is one. Note that states are not required to proceed by indictment. That's because the Constitutional right to be indicted applies only to the Federal government not to the states. After the crime has been committed, the alleged offender arrested and gone through the initial appearance the government proceeds to indictment. The charges in an INDICTMENT or another procedure such as an INFORMATION or ACCUSATION are what gets explained to the defendant at an ARRAIGNMENT. This is basically to sum up the all of the chargesagainst a defendant.

6, Why aren't all charges made known at the initial hearing you may ask. The answer is that at the time of the arrest all of the felonies committed by a person arrested might not be fully known at the time of arrest and initial hearing. A bank robber caught in the act will be arrested for bank robbery and brought before the court where the arresting officer tells the judge and the defendant that he was arrested for bank robbery. Bail must be fixed at that time based on the bank robbery charged unless the prosecution convinces the court that additional charges may be brought upon further investigation. If that further investigation shows that while in the course of the robbery the defendant assaulted a bank teller, guard and customer, those charges will be added at the indictment stage. In addition, if it turns out that there was a getaway car driver involved in the heist, a charge of conspiracy will be added in the indictment.

7. The purpose of the arraignment, if you read the Rules, is to give the defendant information as to ALL of the charges against him and to give him the opportunity to AT THAT TIME enter his plea to all the charges.

8. Most courts do not accept pleas at the inititial hearing. The Federal Rules prohibit it.

9. A reading of the Rules shows that an indictment might not take place until weeks after the arrest. That means the arraignment might not take place until more weeks after the initial arrest. If a "bond hearing" were not held until AFTER the arraignment, all arrestees would spend weeks if not months in jail without hope of release while the prosecution takes its time to bring the indictment. This is not permitted in our criminal justice system.

The long and the short of it is that no matter what any colloquialism exists about what an "ARRAIGNMENT" is and when it occurs, you have to know the actual rule of criminal procedure that says what it is and when it happens and what happens at it.

Thus: the suggestion that a "bond hearing" occurs AFTER an arraignment is plain wrong and should not be relied upon.

Lastly I note that much of the further explanation given after my improvement is superfluous since it confirms the essence of my answer.