New policy will speed up arraignment process in Baton Rouge

Oct 8, 2019 On behalf of Messina & Kiefer, Attorneys at Law

If police arrest you for a crime, you don’t want to sit in jail waiting for your arraignment. While some people may be able to make bond after the arrest, you may not have the means to afford bond. This can lead to you sitting in a Baton Rouge jail for weeks or months waiting to hear the charges against you.

This wait has led judges in East Baton Rouge Parish to create a new policy that speeds up the arraignment process. Going forward, prosecutors must present charges within 72 hours of the arrest for most cases.

Arrested people can sit in jail for weeks or months before arraignment

The U.S. Constitution promises the right to a speedy trial. But in East Baton Rouge Parish, people may wait for weeks for their arraignment. Under Louisiana state law, prosecutors can wait up to 45 days to bring charges for misdemeanors, 60 days for felonies, and 120 days for serious felonies.

While most arrested citizens have the choice to post bond, many do not have either the funds or the collateral to afford bond. This has led to a backlog of people sitting in jail who have not been proven guilty. This backlog increases the jail population and may cost taxpayers around $1 million per year in jail costs.

The new policy will also help arrested citizens that will not face charges. Prosecutors drop many charges before arraignment. But before they drop the charges, the arrested people might sit in jail for weeks.

New process will speed up your trial

If you face an arrest, you don’t want to sit in jail waiting to hear whether prosecutors will charge you. This new policy hopes to speed up the process and ensure your right to a speedy trial.

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