In the Pittsburgh area, when you get arrested, you will automatically get involved in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s criminal justice process. The case will travel the legal system in Pittsburgh and will pass through several steps, starting with the preliminary arraignment.
In this process, the steps will go all the way from preliminary arraignment through a trial and sentencing, yet will not necessarily pass through each level. Your case can be settled at any moment during the process.
At the time of the pre-trial conference, our top Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney will obtain discovery from the District Attorney who is prosecuting your case. This is vital, because the only evidence the prosecutor is allowed to use as evidence against you at your trial is what he or she provides to your attorney during discovery. Discovery means exactly what it implies: each side is allowed to ask for and must share any evidence they have in the case.What Takes Place at the Pre-Trial Conference?
After the formal arraignment, a pre-trial conference will be the next step.
Every county in Pennsylvania has its own particular local procedures to handle cases during the pre-trial conference.
A pre-trial conference is different than a trial. The pre-trial conference in most counties is a chance to resolve issues prior to the trial being held.
Your Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer might utilize this opportunity for negotiating with the prosecutor the best possible plea bargain he can get. Plea bargains are often preferable to going to trial, because an offender can plead to a lesser charge than he or she would get if they proceeded with a trial. Jury trials rarely end well for the defendant, despite what television shows portray. An offender is far more likely to be found guilty at the conclusion of a jury trial than to be let go. With a plea bargain, the lesser charge means less jail time, if any, and a lighter fine and court costs, where a conviction resulting from a jury trial will come with heftier fines, higher court costs, and lengthier jail sentences.
During this time, he or she will also make requests for discovery and ask the police, the labs that analyzed tests, and the District Attorney to provide information. The lawyer assigned to you will help in gathering items like:
- Lab reports
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Statements the police made about your case
- Photos or videos the police are likely to have
- Statements which you gave the police
It may take a few weeks or a few months to get all the information your lawyer asks for.
The pre-trial conference will give the judge an idea of how the case is proceeding. The judge may help move your case along in several ways. He or she can set deadlines for things that should have already been taken care of, and finalize unresolved issues.
Your case is likely to have more than one pre-trial conference, and your lawyer will be essential to each one. He or she will actively negotiate with the prosecutor and analyze discovery information. The plea or trial date will be scheduled after the pre-trial conferences.The Logue Law Group Difference
Our lawyers will present your version of the facts as well as settlement positions to the judge. Your lawyer will attend the pre-trial conference. During this conference, the attorney will meet with both the prosecutor and the judge, either in a conference room or the judge’s chamber.
Taking the legal counsel, especially of our expert Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers, who are comfortable with the pretrial conference’s procedures will offer you the confidence required to know that your case is being handled by experts.
If you are facing a criminal trial, call the expert and experienced Pittsburgh criminal lawyers at Logue Law Group. My associates and I can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t delay; call us today at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. Or, you can contact us online.