Do I have to be informed that I am or will be indicted at a federal grand jury hearing?
When you’re charged with a federal crime, you’ll know it. How? You’ll be arrested. You’ll know it real fast. Or your criminal defense attorney will say, “Listen, I’ve done everything possible. They’re going to arrest you. Let’s arrange a surrender rather than have agents surround your house, break down the door and come charging in in the middle of the night with their guns drawn.”
The first appearance in federal court is called an initial appearance. That’s usually when you’ll be read your basic rights. You’ll be told what you’re charged with, and the issue of bail or bond will be discussed and hopefully you’ll be out. Your formal charges will be advised and presented to you at what’s called an arraignment. A-R-R-A-I-G-N-M-E-N-T, an arraignment. That’s when your lawyer will enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf and your case will formally begin. If you’re charged in federal court, you must have a experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to represent you, or you’ll going to have even bigger problems.