Activities and Events that Occur at a Pretrial Hearing


If an individual is arrested for participating in some type of illegal activity, they will typically go through a pretrial hearing before an actual trial begins. This pretrial hearing is a time when attorneys and the defendant will meet with a judge. There may be a number of reasons why a pretrial hearing is held.

The main reason for having a pretrial hearing is so that the prosecuting attorney and law team for the defense can acquire information from the case so that they can be prepared to discuss the information during the actual trial. They will gather information relating to witnesses, the actual crime and from victims who were involved.

Main Points Gathered During A Pretrial Hearing

During a pretrial hearing, a prosecuting attorney will need to gather information. Typically, it will include the following main points:

– Severity regarding the crime; impact on a victim and the surrounding community
– Any prior criminal history regarding the defendant
– Demographics regarding the defendant such as age or mental and physical health
– Admittance to guilt or expression of remorse
– Any willingness regarding reasonable restitution
– Feelings from the victim regarding how the case should be handled
– Likelihood of a conviction at the end of a trial

If the parties involved have the opportunity to resolve the case before it goes to trial, a negotiation will be considered. However, if no negotiation is found, a date for the trial will be set. Fortunately, there is still time for the defense and prosecutor to negotiate before the actual trial begins. In fact, a negotiation can even be made during an actual trial.

The Process Of A Pretrial Hearing

A pretrial hearing will begin by going over an agenda. These are the list of reasons why a pretrial hearing is being held. In most situations that involve a pretrial hearing, the cases deal with basic issues like a divorce. These type of cases can usually be solved without having to go through a formal trial. A judge will be involved during the pre-trial hearing and help with the negotiation between both parties.

In other cases, a person who has committed a crime may decide to express a certain plea. A judge will also dictate basic rules that will be used during a trial. There have been some situations where a case has been solved during a pretrial hearing.

Understanding Charges

When an accused person goes to a pretrial hearing, they may not be facing any jail time. A judge is present during a pretrial hearing to inform the accused of the crimes they are on trial for and rights that the accused possesses. The type of penalties and sentencing that the accused faces will be explained by a judge as well as bail and release options.