Pretrial Conference or Preliminary Examination

What happens next depends on the type of crime charged. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, a pretrial conference will be scheduled. If you are charged with a felony, a preliminary examination will be scheduled.

Pretrial Conference: All misdemeanor cases are scheduled for a meeting between an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and you or your attorney to determine whether the case will go to trial or be resolved with a plea.

Preliminary Examination: The preliminary hearing or probable cause hearing, if not waived, is held within 14 days after the arraignment. This is the stage at which your attorney can require the government to provide a preview of the evidence that they intend to use against you. The prosecutor will attempt to present evidence to the judge that shows there is probable cause to believe that you committed the alleged crimes. During this hearing your attorney may seek to cross-examine the government’s witnesses to determine the weaknesses of their case. After the hearing, the judge may find probable cause for all the charges, only some of the charges or dismiss the charges entirely.