A misdemeanor pretrial conference occurs after the initial appearance and entry of the not guilty plea. But, it occurs before the trial. Indeed, a privately retained attorney will typically appear at the pretrial conference on a defendant’s behalf without the need for the defendant’s presence. 

What Happens at the Misdemeanor Pretrial Conference?

A misdemeanor pretrial conference typically involves the prosecutor, judge, and defense counsel.  At this hearing, the prosecutor and defense attorney meet, almost informally, to discuss the case prior to going on the record with the judge.  At the first setting, the State has a legal obligation to disclose the evidence it will be producing if the case proceeds to trial. See ARCP 15.1.  Specifically, this consists of police reports, crime lab reports, and witness statements. 

The pretrial conference is also the time the State may convey a plea offer to a defendant.  It is important to understand the plea negotiation process.  Indeed, the prosecutor has a great deal of control and power and may convey and withdraw a plea at any time.  A defendant is not entitled to a plea offer.  In fact, the State can literally single a person out and decide not to make a plea offer. 

However, the State does make a plea offer in most cases. And decisions are largely reliant on the disclosed evidence.  As such, misdemeanor pretrial conferences reset often. Indeed, the continuances ensure complete disclosure, and allow the parties to engage in plea negotiations. 

Contact Huss Law

It is important to have counsel or seek assistance from counsel during any stage of the case.  A person must consider a full evaluation of options. A criminal conviction has disastrous impacts on a person’s life.  A person should resolve their case only after exploring risks with an experienced attorney. Jeremy L. Huss has been practicing criminal law in Arizona for 20 years. Have a Free Consultation with a former major felony prosecutor. Call Huss Law today!

Categories:: Criminal Defense