What Is the Difference Between an Arraignment and an Indictment?

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An indictment is a determination by a grand jury to pursue charges against a person, while an arraignment occurs after indictment or arrest when the court reads the charges against the defendant and the defendant enters a plea, according to Lawyers.com. Pleas entered during indictment include guilty and not guilty.

Only states that use a grand jury use indictments to charge someone with a crime, according to Lawyers.com. Other states use an information, which a determination of charges offered directly by the prosecutor. During an arraignment, the court may also set a date for the trial and for a motion hearing, according to the United State's Attorneys Office of Minnesota.