This step in the criminal process is dictated by Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 571.  The formal arraignment shall take place no later than ten days after the criminal information has been filed.  This is a formality whereby the accused is informed of his right to be represented by counsel, the right to file pre trial motions, and the accused is given a copy of the formal charging document called the criminal information.  The criminal information replaces the initial charging document, the criminal complaint.  Often times the district attorney is not present for the formal arraignment. Under certain circumstances, a defendant is not required to be present for this stage in the process.

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