It is mandatory that you attend the pretrial conference, if one has been set in your case. If you have an attorney, your attorney should come with you. If you do not attend the pretrial conference it will be a violation of a court order and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. You may be subject to other penalties.
- Be in court at least 15 minutes before the scheduled hearing. You must check in at the front counter.
- Please do not bring children to court with you on this day.
- Expect to be here all day.
- Plan ahead and inform your employer, babysitter, or anyone else that this hearing may take most of the day.
If you have been appointed a public defender, you will meet with your public defender at the pre-trial conference. The pretrial conference is for the purpose of discussing the case with the prosecutor, if you wish to do so. The prosecutor will give you or your attorney a copy of the police report. He/she will also advise you or your attorney of the sentence that will be recommended in the event you are convicted.
At this point, you will have three options to consider:
- Change your plea to guilty or no contest and be sentenced by the Judge (usually on that same day.)
- You can enter into a plea agreement with the prosecutor and be sentenced according to the terms of the agreement (unless the Judge does not accept the agreement, in which case you have a right to withdraw your plea).
- You can reject any plea agreement the prosecutor may offer, and a trial date will be scheduled.
You will make this decision for yourself or in counsel with your attorney. You cannot appeal from a guilty plea given to the judge or entered by plea agreement. After you have met with the Prosecutor, you must wait for your name to be called to sign additional paperwork or to receive a new court date. Do not leave the court without first checking with the clerk.
The clerks are here to assist you and to ensure you receive all your paperwork. They are not able to answer legal questions.