What Happens After Arraignment – The Start of the Criminal Case Proceedings

When a person is charged with a crime in California, whether a felony or misdemeanor, white collar crime, violent crime, DUI, or something else, the first court appearance is called an arraignment. At arraignment, the person is provided with the criminal complaint, the official charging document, and informed of the specific allegations and crimes for which they are being accused. A “not guilty” plea will typically be entered in front of the judge, and the matter will be set for a future court date, days, weeks, or months down the line. As such, once a case is filed, the arraignment starts off the criminal proceedings. So, what happens after arraignment?

Between Arraignment and the Next Court Date

Between the arraignment and the next court date is an opportunity to continue to work up the case. It is an opportunity to review the initial discovery, which will consist of the initial police reports and other documents, and to identify what is missing and what other discovery needs to be obtained.

For instance, if charged with a DUI, it is an opportunity to see whether the officer who stopped you was equipped with a camera in their squad car that could potentially have captured the alleged driving which formed the basis of the stop. If accused of battery or some other type of crime which could have resulted in an injury, it could be an opportunity to see if there are photos or medical records that are missing and could be obtained. For instance, there could be witness statements, communications, or other evidence that can be potentially helpful in defending against or disproving the allegations.

Identifying what is missing, making an informal discovery request, and figuring out potential issues, is critical to mounting a defense. The sooner this is done the better, so that there is sufficient time to obtain and review the additional evidence.

Next Court Appearances – Pretrial Hearings and Preliminary Hearing Settings

The next court appearance will typically be scheduled as a pretrial hearing, a hearing that occurs prior to trial, if charged with a misdemeanor, or a preliminary hearing setting, a hearing that occurs prior to the preliminary hearing, if charged with a felony. These next court dates are opportunities to not only make sure that all the missing discovery is obtained, but to engage with and push the prosecutor and work towards getting the absolute best result. The number of pretrial hearings or preliminary hearing settings will ultimately depend on the individual circumstances surrounding the case.

Ultimately, these pretrial hearings and preliminary hearing settings are opportunities to strengthen your case before trial in a misdemeanor case or preliminary hearing in a felony case.

Depending on the court and circumstances, if you are represented by an attorney, your attorney may be able to make these court appearances on your behalf.

If you or a family member have been charged with a crime and are facing felony or misdemeanor charges out of Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, or Ventura County, it is imperative that you hire the best attorney to help you navigate the entire court process and what happens before, during, and after arraignment, including pretrial hearings and preliminary hearing settings. Attorney Michael Kraut has extensive experience and knows how to effectively challenge deficiencies in the prosecution’s filings, obtain critical discovery, push the prosecutor, and secure the absolute best result.

For more information about the criminal process, and to schedule your free consultation, contact attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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