Charges are brought into our office by a law enforcement agency. An Assistant District Attorney screens the charges to decide whether to file them or not.
- Arraignment – A court proceeding in which the charges are read in open court to the defendant. At this time, the defendant decides whether to plead guilty or to plead not guilty and ask for a trial
- Bail/Bond – The amount of money that needs to be posted with the court to secure the defendant’s future appearance at all court dates. If the defendant cannot post bond, they remain in custody. If the defendant can post bond they are released until the next court date.
- PR Bond – A Personal Recognizance bond is a bond posted on the defendant’s promise to appear without giving security/bail money to the professional bondsman.
- Concurrent Sentences – Sentences to be served simultaneously (at the same time) rather than successively (one after another).
- Consecutive Sentences – Sentences to be served one after another instead of simultaneously (at the same time)
- Deferred Judgment Sentence – A defendant pleads guilty and forever gives up the right to a trial. They must pay court costs and perhaps fulfill obligations such as useful public service, or attend classes. They must also commit no other offenses over a set period of time. If the defendant completes these obligations, they are entitled to withdraw their plea and the case will be dismissed, avoiding a conviction.
- Preliminary Hearing – A hearing in County Court on a felony case where a judge decides if there is probable cause to continue the case. If the judge decides that there is probable cause, the case is bound over to District Court.
- Voir Dire (Jury Selection) – This is where a jury is selected for trial. It’s the interrogation of the prospective jurors to determine qualifications and fitness to sit on the jury.
- Suspended Sentence – A judge may decide that part of a sentence can be served while on probation as opposed to jail time.
- Motion to Accelerate – A Motion to Accelerate applies to a deferred sentence where if the defendant violates their probation the State can file a Motion to Accelerate the deferred sentence so the defendant will serve the rest of the sentence in the Department of Corrections
- Motion to Revoke – A Motion to Revoke applies to a suspended sentence where if the defendant violates their probation the State can file a Motion to Revoke the suspended sentence and the defendant will serve the rest of the sentence in the Department of Corrections
- Preliminary Hearing Conference – This is a meeting between the ADAs, the defendant and the defense attorney in front of a judge to determine the next steps of a case. Those could be a guilty or not guilty plea, a continuance on the case, or file any motions.
- Misdemeanor Call Docket – An MSD is, similar to a PHC, a meeting between the ADAs, the defendant and the defense attorney in front of a judge to determine the next steps of a case.