Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Legal Pleadings And Motions


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

Now, at arraignment court, this is your first appearance outside of anything that happens in jail and it’s important that arraignment court is handled correctly. Now, to begin with, let me tell you how to absolutely blow arraignment court. And then, through the next series of videos, I am going to explain the different parts of how to blow arraignment court and suffer maximum pain and suffering in your life. And you are thinking to yourself, that’s the last thing on earth I possibly want. Of course, it is. But you don’t know what you don’t know, that’s why you don’t have because if you knew, you would do. And to know, and not to do, that really means you don’t know. So, let’s break that down specific to arraignment.

Now, when you have arraignment court, the judge is going to have approximately 200 people in a courtroom, sometimes more, sometimes less. And if you go to arraignment court on your own, you are vulnerable. Why are you vulnerable? You don’t know how to dress, you might dress nice for court, which is an absolute disaster. Never dress nice for court. You might decide to throw yourself on the mercy of the court if it’s a misdemeanor and try to get sentenced on the spot. You may try to negotiate with the prosecutor who is going to see you coming and realize you have absolutely no trial experience and no chance of handling your case correctly, and also another thing you can do is say the wrong thing at the wrong time that puts your case on the wrong cycle. For example, if you were to go to court and you were to enter a plea of not guilty but you were not to say that you want a jury trial, the judge has two options. A bench trial with no jury, much easier for the state, or a jury trial with six jurors, 12 if it’s a capital case, and if you are not careful, you could enter a plea of not guilty and weaken your case, walk out of the door with the court set of minutes with your next set of court dates and not even know you had made a mistake.

So, what do you do with arraignment court? You hire a lawyer, and if the lawyer knows what they are doing, in 99.9% of all cases, they are going to file what’s known as a written plea of not guilty. They are going to add a demand for jury trial, and they are also going to file a waiver of arraignment because the last thing you need is to go to a courtroom, sit around for hours just to hear your lawyer thunder for all of five seconds and you walk out with court dates going, “Why did I miss the day of work and get fired?” Well, that’s not necessary. So, what we do in our cases, unless it’s a probation violation or community control violation, is we almost always use a written plea of not guilty and excuse your appearance from the court, which will reduce your stress, make your life a lot easier. And throughout this series, I am going to be making suggestions of how your case can be handled to reduce the level of the stress, anxiety and suffering that you are already experiencing just simply because you or someone you love had the misfortune to be arrested in Florida.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

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Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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