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  • A pretrial stage of a criminal proceeding, when the suspect is first informed by the court of the charges against him or her. The suspect also enters his or her plea of guilty or not guilty. Further court dates are scheduled by the court, and the defendant has the opportunity to obtain counsel if he or she has not done so already. Some states hold arraignments in lower courts only and transfer cases to upper courts if felony charges are filed. At the federal level, arraignment proceedings are specified in Article 4, Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

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