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Pretrial Conference Definition

In a misdemeanor case, this occurs after a defendant appears at arraignment. In a felony case, a pretrial conference is generally scheduled after the case is bound over to circuit court. A pretrial conference is an informal meeting between the defense attorney and the prosecutor. There can be multiple pretrials throughout a criminal case. The purpose of a pretrial conference is to address pertinent issues of the case, discuss potential resolutions, resolve discovery disputes, and possibly set the case for trial. If a pretrial resolution, called a plea bargain or sentence bargain, is reached, the defendant might choose to resolve their case at the pretrial conference with a guilty or no contest plea pursuant to that agreement. If the prosecutor is dismissing the charges, that would also happen at the pretrial.

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