Trump's Indictment: What to Expect Next Week
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As we get a specific date and time for Trump's arraignment, Tuesday, April 4th at 2:15 PM ET, we can now explore what that process will likely entail.
The criminal arraignment is a crucial part of the legal system where someone accused of a crime is officially charged and has to enter a plea. While the process may be slightly different in various places, the general steps in a criminal arraignment are as follows:
1. Appearing in front of a judge:
After being arrested and charged, the defendant goes before a judge or magistrate for the arraignment, sometimes even through video conference.
2. Hearing the charges:
The judge or official reads out the criminal charges against the defendant, who may choose to waive this reading.
3. Being informed of rights:
The judge makes sure the defendant knows their legal rights, such as having a lawyer, not having to incriminate themselves, and the choice to have a jury or bench trial.
4. Giving a plea:
The defendant gives a plea in response to the charges, usually either 'guilty,' 'not guilty,' or 'no contest.' In some places, an Alford plea allows the defendant to maintain innocence but admit there's enough evidence for a conviction.
5. Deciding bail conditions:
The judge determines if the defendant gets released without bail, sets a bail amount, or denies bail. In the case of Trump, he isn't a flight risk, so it's very likely that bail will not be set, and he will be released.
6. Setting future court dates:
The judge schedules dates for events like preliminary hearings, pretrial conferences, or the trial itself.
This case probably won't affect Trump's presidential campaign from a legal standpoint, even if he's eventually convicted. The US constitution doesn't require candidates to have a clean background.
Undoubtedly, the entire accusation culminating in a potential trial and verdict will rank among the most observed legal proceedings in our country's history. Trump may attempt to disrepute and tarnish the process, and should a judge perceive this, the imposition of a gag order remains a viable option. Imposing such a restriction might effectively curtail the former president's capacity to employ social media and broadcast media to sway jurors or compromise the integrity of the proceeding.
Ultimately, the judiciary system should do its job as intended.