Other Pretrial Court Appearances

After the initial court appearance, you may have additional court appearances depending on how your case progresses. These court settings have different names depending on the county and the court. Some common names include "Non Issue," "Announcement," "Plea," and "Disposition." Regardless of the name, these settings are additional opportunities for your lawyer and the prosecutor to discuss the case, for your lawyer to talk to the judge (if necessary) about the case, and for your lawyer to otherwise continue to develop the facts and law relevant to your case. During these settings, the prosecutor will usually make a plea bargain offer.

Between these court appearances, your attorney should also be working on your case by obtaining other information and documents relevant to your case. Some of this material will include obtaining a copy of the video, obtaining the police officers' training records, obtaining any police dispatch tapes and audio communications by the officers in your case, obtaining any mobile data terminal (MDT) logs from computer communications by the officers in your case, obtaining documents and affidavits related to the license revocation proceeding, obtaining documents and records related to the breath test machine (maintenance, repair, etc.) and the results of the breath test if you took one. Between the court appearances, you should meet and talk with your lawyer about the progress of the case, you should personally view the video (if there is one) of your arrest or of you at the station, and you should know what plea bargain offer (if any) has been made by the State.

At the conclusion of these pretrial settings, you will have to make a decision concerning whether you want to accept the plea bargain offer made by the State or whether you want to proceed to trial. Even if you initially think you are inclined to want to work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor, the case should still be investigated and prepared. Frequently, better plea bargains are available as a result of information obtained during a complete investigation. If a complete investigation does not occur, you cannot be sure that you will be getting the best available plea bargain offer.