Arraign Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Arraign, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Arraign?

n. attorney’s advertising is the promotion, via instruments of mass media, of the legal services an attorney can provide. It was considered that the rights and obligations of attorneys involved in the dissolution of, or withdrawal from, a law firm are affected by rules governing attorney advertising and solicitation; and hence prior to 1977 commercial advertising by attorney’s was legally prohibited. However, the United States Supreme Court in Bates v. Bar of Arizona case (1977), held that the states could not impose a blanket prohibition against attorney advertising, as an attorneys’ commercial speech was no less protected than that of public utilities.

History and Meaning of Arraign

The term "arraign" is a legal term used to describe the process of bringing a defendant to court to answer to a criminal charge. The word "arraign" comes from the Old French word "araisnier," meaning "to speak to." In early English law, arraignment was a formal legal ceremony in which an accused person was brought before the court to hear the indictment read and to enter a plea.

Today, arraignment is a more informal process, typically conducted by a judge in open court. At arraignment, the defendant is informed of the charges against them, advised of their rights, and given the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

Examples of Arraign

  1. The defendant was arraigned on charges of murder and assault in the first degree.
  2. The arraignment was delayed due to the defendant's medical emergency.
  3. At the arraignment, the judge set bail at $100,000.

Legal Terms Similar to Arraign

  1. Indictment: A formal accusation of a crime, issued by a grand jury after hearing evidence presented by a prosecutor.
  2. Plea: A defendant's formal response to a criminal charge, in which they either admit guilt (guilty plea) or deny guilt (not guilty plea).
  3. Criminal proceeding: A legal proceeding in which the government charges a person with a crime and seeks to prove their guilt in court.