If you or a family member has been arrested in the Philadelphia area, you will become involved in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s criminal process. Your case will work its way through Pennsylvania’s legal system, proceeding through multiple steps that begin with a preliminary arraignment.
The steps in this process go all the way up through a trial and sentencing. But it is likely your case will not proceed through every level. At any time during this process, your case can be settled.
During the pre-trial conference phase, your defense attorney can obtain discovery from the District Attorney. This is crucial because the prosecution can only use discovery provided by the DA to your attorney as evidence at your trial.
What Happens In A Pre-Trial Conference
Your pre-trial conference is the next stage after formal arraignment.
Each county in Pennsylvania has its own local procedures for handling cases in a pre-trial conference – and they do vary from county to county.
The pre-trial conference is not a trial. In most counties the pre-trial conference is an opportunity for issues to be resolved before a trial is held.
Your attorney may use this opportunity to negotiate the best possible plea bargain with the prosecutor.
Your lawyer will also make discovery requests at this time. They will ask for information from the police, the DA and labs that analyzed tests. Your attorney will gather items such as:
- Statements you made to the police
- Videos or photos the police may have
- Statements made by the police about your case
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Lab reports
It may take weeks or months to obtain all of the information your attorney asks for.
The pre-trial conference lets the judge know how your case is proceeding. The judge can be involved in ways that move the case along. He or she may finalize unresolved issues and set deadlines for outstanding matters.
Your case may have several pre-trial conferences. Your attorney will be integral to each one. He or she will be actively involved in negotiating with prosecutors and analyzing discovery information.
Following the pre-trial conferences, your trial or plea date will be scheduled.
Questions? Contact us today.
As your case moves through Pennsylvania’s legal system, you need an experienced attorney to defend you. Fienman Defense provides honest communication and gives you the solid guidance you need to avoid severe penalties.