Stages in a Felony Case


Stage 1: Arraignment

Your First Court Appearance
• Enter a not guilty plea
• Demand discovery
• Set bail review
• Set Readiness Conference #1
• Set Preliminary Hearing

Stage 2: Bail Review

3 days After Arraignment
• Motion to reduce bail
• Bring witnesses/docs
• O.R. Release/post bail
• Pick next court date

Stage 3: Readiness Conference #1

1st Settlement Conference
• Discuss settlement with the judge and prosecutor
• File motions

Stage 4: Preliminary Hearing

District Attorney Puts on Evidence
• DA puts on witnesses to establish probable cause
• Good place to show witness as wrong or lying
• Defense attacks charges
• Argue motions

Stage 5: Arraignment in Trial Court

2 Weeks After Preliminary Hearing
• Negotiate case with DA
• File any motions
• Set pre-trial dates
• Get ready for plea bargain at Stage 6 readiness conference

Stage 6: Readiness Conference #2

Settlement Opportunity
• Discuss witnesses/trial
• Set motion hearing dates
• Prepare for trial

Stage 7: Motions

Hearing on the Motions Filed
• Argue motions previously filed
• Review trial strategy
• Subpoena witnesses
• Prepare for trial
• 995 motion (challenge evidence)
• Discovery motions

Stage 8: Trial

Jury Trial
• Pick a jury (voir dire)
• Opening statements
• Prosecution puts on its case
• Mid trial motions
• Defense puts on its case
• End of trial motions
• Closing arguments
• Verdict