By: Gregory Rollins
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Riverside County Felony Case Process Part 2: Arraignment Thru Preliminary Hearing
Here are 10 steps in the life of a Riverside County felony case from arraignment thru preliminary hearing:
- At the arraignment on the complaint, the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. Unless the court orders otherwise, the defendant must be present in court at the arraignment.
- Also at the arraignment, the court will address the issue of bail to make sure bail is sufficient for the charges filed. A bail review hearing can be set to contest the bail amount set by the court.
- After the arraignment, the case is set for one or more felony settlement conferences.
- A felony settlement conference (FSC) is a meeting between the lawyers in court to discuss the case and to try to reach a resolution to the case. Unless the court orders otherwise, the defendant must be present in court at every FSC.
- If the case is not resolved during the felony settlement conference(s), the case is then set for a preliminary hearing.
- A preliminary hearing is a contested evidentiary hearing where both the prosecution and defense can present and challenge evidence. Unless the court orders otherwise, the defendant must be present in court at the preliminary hearing.
- At the preliminary hearing, the DA has the burden to prove to the judge that there is probable cause (more likely than not that the defendant committed the crime) for the case to proceed to trial. This is a much lower standard of proof than is required for a conviction at trial.
- At the end of the preliminary hearing, the defendant is held to answer by the judge on any charges where the DA proves it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the crime.
- The issue of bail can be readdressed based on the charges for which the defendant is held to answer at the preliminary hearing.
- Once the defendant is held to answer, the case is set for an information arraignment.
- Riverside County Felony Case Process General Overview
- Riverside County Felony Case Process Part 1: From The Incident Thru The Arraignment
- Riverside County Felony Case Process Part 3: Information Thru Sentencing
Criminal defense attorney and former Riverside County prosecutor Gregory Rollins uses his unique experience and expertise to defend the rights of the accused, provide meaningful legal advice to his clients, and to fight for the best possible outcome for every client in every case. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is important to make sure that your rights (or those of your loved-one) are protected.
Contact criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Gregory Rollins to set up a free consultation.