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