Arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal complaint in the presence of the defendant. In response the defendant would plead guilty or not guilty.
Arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal complaint in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea. Acceptable pleas vary among jurisdictions, but they generally include 'guilty', 'not guilty', and the peremptory pleas (or pleas in bar) setting out reasons why a trial cannot proceed. Pleas of 'nolo contendere' (no contest) and the 'Alford plea' are allowed in some circumstances. In England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Australia, arraignment is the first of eleven stages in a criminal trial, and involves the clerk of the court reading out the indictment. The defendant is asked whether he or she pleads guilty or not guilty to each charge. In federal courts in the United States, arraignment takes place in two stages.
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