What to Expect at a Pre-Trial Conference

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Hi, my name is Steve Glazer. I’m an attorney in Arizona and we’re going to talk about what to expect at a pre-trial conference.

First off, a pre-trail conference, in theory, is where both sides, the state and the defense, get together, talk about a case and see if they can resolve a case with a non-trail resolution. What that means is, can you reach an agreement to settle the case without a trail?

What you can expect – there’s two different things to expect – one is if you have an attorney, one is if you don’t have an attorney. If you don’t have an attorney, you’re going to walk into court. It’s usually a batch court where there might be 50-100 cases, and you’re going to talk to a prosecutor by yourself and maybe you can reach an agreement. Maybe, you can’t. You’ll talk about it. If you can, usually you’ll resolve the case right there on the spot. You’ll go before the judge. You’ll enter a change of plea to what you’re pleading guilty to, and you’ll be sentenced on the spot. That’s what would happen in most municipal or justice courts.

If you can’t reach an agreement, then the case is simply going to be set for trial, and they’ll give you a trial date.

If you have an attorney, though, it is substantially different. When you have an attorney, odds are we’re not going to try and talk to a prosecutor about ins-and-outs of the case when the courtroom is full of 100 people.

What I typically do is I call the prosecutor ahead of time, or I’ll walk over to his or her office, talk about the case outside the presence of everyone else, and we’ll see if we can resolve it. If we can, great, we’ll have the case set for a change of plea. If we can’t, then we’ll just set it for trial. But it’s handled differently if you have an attorney versus if you don’t have an attorney.

That’s what you can expect at a pre-trial conference. Thanks. If you need help, give me a call. Steve Glazer, 928-213-5916.

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