Changes are coming to off-hour arraignments in Cayuga County and across New York state after legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to take effect at the end of February.
Currently, local town and municipal judges answer their phone any time of day to conduct an arraignment on felony, misdemeanor or violation charges. Except for in the city of Auburn, defense attorneys are usually not called for those arraignments after hours, said Ray Lockwood, president of the Cayuga County Magistrates Association. A defense attorney will be assigned for future court appearances, but during that initial setting of bail and bond that sometimes occurs on the weekends or at 2 a.m. — there's usually just a judge present.