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What Happens After the Arraignment: CA Felony Cases | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA

Criminal Law

  • What Happens After the Arraignment: CA Felony Cases

    Posted Aug 15th, 2014 By in Criminal Law With | Comments Off on What Happens After the Arraignment: CA Felony Cases

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    In a previous blog post we discussed the arraignment. To quickly review, an arraignment is the first time, after the arrest and charges have been filed by the prosecutor, that a defendant will appear in court. At the arraignment the judge will tell the defendant what the charges are, his or her constitutional rights, as well as his or her rights to a lawyer free of charge. In response, the defendant is expected to make a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. When the arraignment is done, however, the question may arise of what comes next?

    In the event of a felony, after the arraignment, if the case has not been settled or dismissed, the judge will call for a preliminary hearing setting date. A preliminary hearing setting date is an opportunity for your attorney to plea bargain and resolve the case without needing to enter the cases second and third phase. In the event that the case is not settled during the preliminary hearing setting date, a judge will call for a preliminary hearing.

    The preliminary hearing is the opportunity for the district attorney to present evidence that will give the judge a strong suspicion that the defendant did in fact commit the crime. This evidence is referred to as probable cause. During the preliminary hearing, the district attorney may call witnesses to the stand to tell their story and the defendant’s attorney may cross examine the witnesses to achieve his or her goal. In the event of a preliminary hearing, the defendants attorney has four goals.

    1. Get the charges dismissed.
    2. Test the strength of the prosecution’s case.
    3. Weaken the prosecution’s case.
    4. Set up the defendant’s case.

    If the judge decides that there is enough evidence to suspect the defendant of having committed the crime, the case will move on to the second phase. In the second phase, the prosecutor will file a document called the “Information”. The Information is the charging document that is meant to inform the defendant of what he or she is being accused of. Based on the Information, the defendant will be arraigned a second time and be required to enter another one of the aforementioned pleas. The reason for this second arraignment is because the first judge has passed the case onto another jurisdiction, during which some of the charges may be dropped.

    After the arraignment, pre-trial dates are set. Similarly to the preliminary hearing setting date and the preliminary hearing, the pre-trial dates are another opportunity to plea bargain, compromise or reach a settlement. During the pre-trial dates motions can be made to ensure that all evidence has been revealed. And in the event that a settlement is still not reached, the case will be passed onto the third phase, which is the trial.


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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703