After Arraignment – Pretrial Motions

What 
happens at arraignment?

In
 most jurisdictions, your arraignment will be your first appearance
 in court whether or not you are in custody. At arraignment, your 
attorney will usually receive the police reports on your case
 and any additional evidence that the prosecutor has in his or
 her possession.

The Arraignment And Pretrial Motions

Your criminal defense lawyer will also receive
a formal complaint which states the charges that have been filed
against you. It is important to note that the charges may be different
 than those for which you were arrested. While the police can arrest
you for one pair of charges, the prosecutor’s office may disagree
and file a completely different set of charges if they feel the
facts warrant.

Can
 the court set bail?

If
 you are in custody, your attorney will have the opportunity to
 argue bail. However, it is important to note some courts will
 not hear a bail argument without what is commonly referred to
as an “OR Report.” “OR” stands for “Own Recognizance.” The “OR” 
clerk will interview you to see if you present a risk of flight.
 They will ask about your personal background, your job, where
you live, your job history, and what family support you have within 
the community. Because this is a bail hearing, the only inquiries 
are: 1) whether or not you are likely to flee the state or country
 if released on just your promise to return for all court proceedings 
in your case; and 2) the seriousness of the case.

After 
the arraignment

In most jurisdictions, your next date in court will be the pretrial
 conference. At the pretrial conference, important motions can 
be argued that can affect your case.

Motion
 to suppress

A Motion to Suppress is filed when your criminal lawyer believes
that there are grounds to suppress either physical evidence taken
from you or statements made by you.

Motion 
to dismiss

A Motion to Dismiss will be filed by your criminal defense
lawyer if he/she believes there was insufficient evidence at the
 preliminary hearing from which the judge could make a finding
of probable cause.

Motion 
to release information – discovery request

In certain types of felony cases, most notably sex abuse and child
 molestation cases, the victims psychological OR medical
records may be relevant. A motion will be filed by your attorney 
to disclose that information. It is not automatically disclosed
 because of its privileged nature.

More On The Criminal Process

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