Stages In A Misdemeanor Case

Stage 1: Pre-Filing Investigation / Pre-Filing Negotiation

Before Case Begins in Court

  • Gather witness statements and other evidence
  • Negotiate case with arresting agency and/or prosecutor

Stage 2: Arraignment

Your First Court Appearance

  • Enter a not guilty plea
  • Demand discovery
  • Set date for Readiness Conference
  • Argue restraining/protective orders

Stage 3: Readiness Conference

Trial Setting Department (TSD)

  • Two weeks after arraignment if no time waiver
  • Negotiate the case with the prosecutor- possible plea bargain
  • Make sure discovery is in order
  • File motions

Stage 4: Motions

Hearing on the Motions Filed

  • Argue Motion to Suppress
  • Argue Discovery Motions
  • Review trial strategy
  • Subpoena witnesses
  • Prepare for trial

Stage 5: Trial

Jury Trial

  • Motions in Limine (pre-trial motions)
  • Pick a jury (“voir dire”)
  • Opening statements
  • Prosecution puts on its case
  • Defense puts on its case
  • Closing arguments
  • Verdict (Not Guilty!)
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