Question: I was arrested and bailed out on a Felony Domestic Violence case. I just want some insight on what the next steps are in the court process? I already had the arraignment. I just want to know what to expect. I can’t afford any jail time, nor do I want to do any jail time. Should I be worried? This is my first arrest. I am 22 years old. I am in college and things are going well other than this arrest.
I just want to know what to expect is this going to be a long process what other things can I do? What happens now that I had an arraignment and entered a not guilty plea? I’m just so worried and I have no idea what is going on with my case. I was told when I was walking out of Court that my next court date is a “Pre-prelim” hearing…whatever that is.
Answer: I understand how stressful and scary this situation is for you. To give a general answer to your question, a Pre-prelim hearing is a hearing (or hearings) that take place before a “Preliminary hearing.” To help answer your question, it may be better to start off with what a Preliminary hearing is. A preliminary hearing is a hearing that occurs in the Felony criminal proceedings. It is like a mini-trial without a jury, and with a lower burden of proof for the prosecutor to meet as compared to a criminal trial.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the Judge will determine if the evidence against the Defendant is strong enough to proceed with the case. The prosecutor does NOT need to meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden they would have to establish in a criminal trial.
A “pre-prelim” hearing is where the Defense conducts discovery that may help with the defense of the case at a Preliminary hearing (and beyond), and to also negotiate with the prosecutor to try to establish a favorable outcome of the case prior to the preliminary hearing taking place.
If you do not have an attorney representing you for this case I would highly recommend contacting me to discuss your situation in more detail. The potential consequences of trying to defend yourself or not knowing what is happening in your case are too severe to take lightly.
I can be reached directly at 818-336-1384.
Philip Hache, Attorney