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Pretrial Conference


Be sure to meet with your attorney prior to your pretrial conference date so you can discuss your case, including any discovery items that have been received or any offers that have been made. If you do not meet with your attorney prior to your pretrial conference, it will be more difficult for your case to move forward on the pretrial conference date. 

TERMINOLOGY:

Discovery: Discovery is the information that the police and prosecutor have gathered in a case which they say proves the guilt of a charged person. This will include items such as: police reports, signed statements, recorded statements, photographs, and expert reports. Your attorney will request your discovery by filing a "Motion for Discovery." Once the discovery is received, it can be referred to simply as your "discovery."

Motions: A motion is a written or oral request that the court to do something, or another party to do something. An example of a common motion is a motion for bond reduction. In this example, the defense is asking the Court to lower a bond amount. If the motion is granted, the bond will be reduced. Another example is a motion for discovery. Here, the defense is asking the court to order the prosecutor to turn over discovery materials. Once the order is signed, the prosecutor is then required to turn over the discovery items to the defense.

Bond Violation: When a person is released from custody on bond, they are often put on conditions of their release. Common conditions include: no new offenses, drug screens, checking in with pretrial services or attend drug/alcohol treatment. If a person who is released on a bond does not follow their conditions, the prosecutor will allege that the person has violated their bond and will ask for the bond to be revoked. After a hearing, if the prosecutor convinces the judge that there has been a bond violation, the judge will typically increase the bond amount.  

Plea Offer: A plea offer is an offer made by the prosecutor in exchange for a guilty plea. The charged person will agree to enter a guilty plea and waive their constitutional right to a jury trial. In exchange, the prosecutor will offer the person a sentence that they are willing to accept. You never have to accept a plea offer. However, your trial attorney is required to negotiate on your behalf, even if you do not want to accept a plea offer.