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California Legal Help Topics, Discussions and Information relating to Legal Information specific to the State of California. This information is *NOT PROFESSIONAL* and should always be fact-checked!

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Old 09-24-2017, 11:18 AM
OpalJewl OpalJewl is offline
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Default California Arraignment held without defendant present is that legal?

Need a little help. My husband was arrest in 2015 on two felony charges. He was released on bond that night and appeared on the date indicated on his paperwork. He went to court and was not on calendar obtained paperwork from DA saying charges may or may not be filed to check calendar online or a letter in the mail. Fast forward charges were filed in 2017 no letter was received but it was on the online calendar. He went to court and had to post another bond (old one expired) the court had no knowledge he had a previous bond. New bond for the 2 charges, new court date was continued. Here's what I don't understand checking his case online it showed a arraignment date he never attended he knew nothing about this date. We asked the public defender and she said she entered the plea for him because it had to be done. They also added another charge at that time. Is this legal doesn't the defendant have the right to know what he is being charged with and enter a plea? Especially because they added another charge? Any help would be great. Thank you
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:22 AM
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missingdee missingdee is offline
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Originally Posted by OpalJewl View Post
Need a little help. My husband was arrest in 2015 on two felony charges. He was released on bond that night and appeared on the date indicated on his paperwork. He went to court and was not on calendar obtained paperwork from DA saying charges may or may not be filed to check calendar online or a letter in the mail. Fast forward charges were filed in 2017 no letter was received but it was on the online calendar. He went to court and had to post another bond (old one expired) the court had no knowledge he had a previous bond. New bond for the 2 charges, new court date was continued. Here's what I don't understand checking his case online it showed a arraignment date he never attended he knew nothing about this date. We asked the public defender and she said she entered the plea for him because it had to be done. They also added another charge at that time. Is this legal doesn't the defendant have the right to know what he is being charged with and enter a plea? Especially because they added another charge? Any help would be great. Thank you


In some cases a plea of “not guilty” can be entered on a defendant’s behalf without the defendant present. I’m not clear on what those circumstances are specifically.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by OpalJewl View Post
Need a little help. My husband was arrest in 2015 on two felony charges. He was released on bond that night and appeared on the date indicated on his paperwork. He went to court and was not on calendar obtained paperwork from DA saying charges may or may not be filed to check calendar online or a letter in the mail. Fast forward charges were filed in 2017 no letter was received but it was on the online calendar. He went to court and had to post another bond (old one expired) the court had no knowledge he had a previous bond. New bond for the 2 charges, new court date was continued. Here's what I don't understand checking his case online it showed a arraignment date he never attended he knew nothing about this date. We asked the public defender and she said she entered the plea for him because it had to be done. They also added another charge at that time. Is this legal doesn't the defendant have the right to know what he is being charged with and enter a plea? Especially because they added another charge? Any help would be great. Thank you

Some where there has been a Waiver of Defendant’s Personal Presence agreed to with the court. Penal Code section 977 Explain some of this in detail mostly applies to misdemeanor charges , but section 977 3(b) (2) (2) The accused may execute a written waiver of his or her right to be personally present, approved by his or her counsel, and the waiver shall be filed with the court. However, the court may specifically direct the defendant to be personally present at any particular proceeding or portion thereof. The waiver shall be substantially in the following form:
You can find the full waiver of defendant's personal presence at the same link listed above
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:30 PM
OpalJewl OpalJewl is offline
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Thank you this is VERY helpful
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:08 PM
Bread-N-Water Bread-N-Water is offline
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Most if not all prison offer video arraignment.
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