I just had had my arraignment and pleaded "not guilty". Why is my next court date so far away?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Seattle, WA

I was charged with theft 3 (stole $25 worth of food at safeway) Always had a clean background, jobless as of right now. I had my arraignment today and pleaded not guilty. Next court date is in February for pre-trial jury conference.. Why is my next court date so far along and not sooner? What should I expect for the next time I appear in court?? Will this be on my record??

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Around the Seattle area, the usual hearings are arraignment, pre-trial conference, and trial. There may be other hearings to hear motions. The city courts generally schedule the next hearing for 1 or 2 months later. Moreover, given that the holidays are coming up when the prosecutor, your attorney, or you may not be available, it would not be surprising that your next hearing would in early February.

    "What should I expect for the next time I appear in court?" While you are waiting for the next hearing, you and your attorney should be reviewing the discovery material and discussing with each other what legal options you may have.

    "Will this be on my record?" If you are convicted of or plead guilty to the charge, the conviction will be on your record. After a while, if you meet the statutory requirements, you can take steps to have the court do something done to the record so that most members of the public cannot see the records.

    Practically speaking, private companies collect public records. Regardless of what the court may decide to do with public records, the information kept by private companies is available to anyone willing to pay the companies.

    If you are jobless, you likely qualify for a public defender. The court should have given you information about how to apply for the public defender. If a public defender has been appointed for you, you should contact the public defender to make an appointment to go over your case.

    If you want a private attorney, this would be the time for you to interview attorneys and hire your attorney.

  2. Jennifer Ellen Horwitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It is not unusual that your next court date is in Februrary, depending on how busy the Court is, and considering the holidays. Betweent the arraignement and the pretrial hearing, you should either hire a lawyer or be screened for a public defender. Your lawyer will then enter a notice of appearance and request for discovery, which will lead the prosecutor to provide the police report to your lawyer. Your lawyer should then review the police report with you and discuss with you whether you would like to engage in plea negotiation with the prosecutor. Given your lack of criminal history and the nature of this offense, your lawyer shoulld try to find a way to resolve the case that will protect your record and keep it conviction-free. There are such resolutions available, especially for first-time offenders. At the pretrial hearing one of three things will happen: 1) the case will be resolved because your lawyer and the prosecutor negotiated a resolution that is acceptable to you; 2) the pretrial hearing is continued because your lawyer is still negotiating with the prosecutor or doing investigation on your case; 3) you set your case for trial because no offer has been made for resolving the case that is acceptable to you.

  3. Jennifer Ellen Horwitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . It is not unusual that your next court date is in Februrary, depending on how busy the Court is, and considering the holidays. Betweent the arraignement and the pretrial hearing, you should either hire a lawyer or be screened for a public defender. Your lawyer will then enter a notice of appearance and request for discovery, which will lead the prosecutor to provide the police report to your lawyer. Your lawyer should then review the police report with you and discuss with you whether you would like to engage in plea negotiation with the prosecutor. Given your lack of criminal history and the nature of this offense, your lawyer shoulld try to find a way to resolve the case that will protect your record and keep it conviction-free. There are such resolutions available, especially for first-time offenders. At the pretrial hearing one of three things will happen: 1) the case will be resolved because your lawyer and the prosecutor negotiated a resolution that is acceptable to you; 2) the pretrial hearing is continued because your lawyer is still negotiating with the prosecutor or doing investigation on your case; 3) you set your case for trial because no offer has been made for resolving the case that is acceptable to you.

  4. Omer Jaleel

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Only your attorney would be able to fully address your questions.

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