Preliminary Arraignment in Pennsylvania

A preliminary arraignment in PA is a proceeding held before a district justice where the criminal defendant is provided with a copy of the complaint and advised of their legal rights. The district justice also schedules the preliminary hearing that is set not be less than three (3) nor more than ten (10) days after the preliminary arraignment. If the defendant is detained in Pennsylvania, they must be given an immediate and reasonable opportunity to post bail, secure counsel, and notify others of the arrest. If the defendant does not post bail they will be committed to jail. In the vast majority of cases in PA, the District Attorney will not be present at a preliminary arraignment.