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What Happens After The Arraignment: CA Misdemeanor 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 Misdemeanor Cases

    Posted Aug 21st, 2014 By in Criminal Law, New Criminal Case Law With | Comments Off on What Happens After The Arraignment: CA Misdemeanor Cases


    To 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 for a misdemeanor case, the attorney will receive “the discovery,” which are the police reports containing the accusations against the defendant. 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. The clerk will then put the files on the Judge’s desk, the judge will call the case and the attorney will do one of two things: continue the arraignment to another date or enter a plea of ‘not guilty.’ When a plea of not guilty is entered, the attorney will choose a date and this will act as the pre-trial date.

    Once a pretrial date is set, it is the attorney’s job to now take the discovery back to his office and review it for any legal or factual defenses. During this period, it is common for the attorney to send the defendant a copy of the discovery, or set up a meeting with the defendant so they can review the discovery together.

    When the attorney returns to court on the prearranged pre-trial date, this is his or her opportunity to begin the process of negotiation with the prosecutor in terms of a plea bargain. A plea bargain is a compromise or agreement that results in the settlement of a client’s case outside of trial. While nearly 95% of all criminal misdemeanor charges are resolved during the plea bargain process, the plea bargain process can take from 90-120 days and will often include numerous pre-trial conferences. The defendant is not required to attend his or her pre-trials, however, the defendant is more than welcome to do so and may in some instances find it advantageous.

    Once a settlement is agreed upon, the defendant will be required to fill out a plea form. The plea form outlines the details of the plea bargain. In some instances the court will require the plea form to be notarized. Once complete and ready the attorney will then submit the plea form to the court. Upon submission, the defendant will be given a letter containing detailed instructions on what the defendants obligations to the court now are.

    In the event that a defendant’s case cannot be settled during pre-trial, the defendant has the right to bring his or her case to trial. At trial, a jury of 12 people will be appointed from the community and a decision of guilty or innocent will be made. If found innocent, the defendant is released from government charges and deemed to be exonerated. If found guilty, an appropriate punishment will be decided upon by the judge.


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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