As a citizen of the United States, you are protected by various rights that have been enshrined in the Constitution. One of these vital rights is your right to be free from arbitrary detention or arrest. According to this right, when a person is arrested for a crime, they must be arraigned before a judge within 48-72 hours after their arrest.

Arraignment is one of the most important stages in criminal proceedings. This stage provides an opportunity for individuals accused of crimes to learn about the charges against them and respond appropriately. It also serves as a mechanism through which courts protect defendants’ constitutional rights by ensuring that there is sufficient evidence for prosecution.

However, what happens if you are not arraigned within 72 hours? Here’s everything you need to know about it:

What is Arraignment?

What is Arraignment?

Arraignment refers to the first formal legal proceeding where an individual charged with committing a crime appears before a court and enters an initial plea – either guilty or not guilty – regarding those allegations made against him/her.

During arraignment, the defendant hears their charges read aloud and receives information on their Constitutional Rights under Amendments V (protection against self-incrimination), VI (right to counsel), and VIII (prohibitions on excessive bail).

After hearing such informtion presented during this process, defendants may enter any pleas they want – either ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty.’ If they plead ‘guilty,’ then pre-sentencing conversations will start among all involved parties – ranging from prosecutors who seek justice for victims, judges who consider what sentence would serve society best while considering each case’s unique circumstances such as mitigating factors like mental illness or hardship situations plaintiffs could face due hardship outside influencing factors such as addiction problems.

Why Must Defendants Be Arraigned Within 48-72 Hours?

Why Must Defendants Be Arraigned Within 48-72 Hours?

The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment specifies that no person shall be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause. The Amendment’s purpose is to prevent people from being arrested or detained arbitrarily. It means that the police must have probable cause, a legal basis for making an arrest or detaining someone.

Arraignment is one of the ways through which courts protect this constitutional right by ensuring that defendants are not kept in jail without sufficient evidence. As per Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (FRCP), defendants who have been indicted on criminal charges must be arraigned within seventy-two hours after their arrest/duration in custody if appearing before a judge during business hours – failure to do so can jeopardize proceedings and result in delay along with other negating circumstances like dismissal or acquittal of cases as unlikely but possible outcomes.

However, there’s a catch – weekends, holidays, and other nonbusiness days aren’t counted toward this timeline; therefore suspects could remain behind bars over longer than intended periods due to weekends positioning themselves at disadvantageous times where jails are not taking active part in releiving prisoners regardless if they havent offically been tried yet – thus extending time between detention/release beyond reasonable limitiations set forth under law .

What Happens If You Are Not Arraigned Within 72 Hours?

If you’re charged with committing any crime but aren’t arraigned within 72 hours as outlined under Rule 5 FRCP , you may file Habeas Corpus petition (right filed by prisoners seeking release from illegal detention or imprisonment). This request is presented to local court officials for reviewing conditions surrounding your detainment upon hearing arguments both defendant AND prosecution will give based on each side’s own account provided through court documents.

Typically, such petitions allow detainees temporary freedom until subsequent trial dates scheduled at later junctures BUT do include further stipulations such as mandatory check-in schedules throughout future judicial proceses .

Moreover, should authorities refuse habeas corpus relief despite arbitrary intitial notion charactersizing detention parameters outside those limited by Constitutional provisions regulating incarceration sequences violative of such protections then legal recourse becomes available in every aspect through assault avenues originating in Constitutional Law where due process protections reverberate alongside any other appropriate direction advice provided to counsel defending detainees. This approach is very likely when defense attorneys feel that there were no grounds properly used/reasonably articulated for arrest/charge/inconsistent with the law.


In summary, being arraigned within 72 hours after your arrest is one of your fundamental rights as a citizen against arbitrary detention. Filing a Habeas Corpus petition and enlisting the help of an experienced attorney should be done early on since every moment counts during these proceedings. Staying informed about the timelines surrounding detainment periods or other Supreme Court accepted practices will aid defendants adequately prepared prior to trying cases so that they might employ best judgment decisions while weighing costs/benefits associated represented with their particular case at any point-in-time . Criminal justice can overwhelm unprepared individuals facing potential bodily harm from incarceration as well as monetary risks stemming from delayed arraignements or tenuous future upon relase which puts greater emphasis on proper representation throughout all proceedings possible starting from inception – leading many to make long-term convictions anticipating lower financial strain coming after eventual release back outside such walls : thus it cannot be overstated how essential it is to understand all aspects of these complex legal procedures before embarking on them with experts who know every nuance build into defending persons suffering injustices based on weak arguments lacking merit!