FAQ: Steps in a Criminal Case

  1. Arrest or Summons
  2. Initial Appearance (on TV if in jail)
    • set bond or release conditions
    • appoint or retain lawyer
    • inform you of charges
  3. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury within 10 days of Initial Appearance
  4. Arraignment - (Plead Not Guilty) within 10 days of Grand Jury or Preliminary Hearing.
  5. Bond Reduction Hearing - As soon as possible
  6. Case Management Conference (Monthly Status Reports to the Judge) 2-3 weeks following arraignment
  7. Pre-Trial Hearing on Motion to Suppress/Dismiss
  8. Plea Bargain or Trial
  9. Sentencing Hearing if Convicted

Your personal appearance can be waived at some of the court dates early in the case. You may also be allowed to appear by telephone if you live out of town.


Consequences of a Felony Conviction

In addition to a possible jail or prison sentence, a felony conviction results in a loss of your civil rights, including your right to vote, sit on a jury and to possess a firearm. There is a process which can restore your rights after you complete your probation, jail or prison sentence. If someone is a permanent resident alien or in the United States illegally, a felony conviction may also be used to deport that person.

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