My brother just went through a preliminary hearing for penal code(a)(2), 422(A),136.1(B)(1), 136.1(B)(2), and 236. Afterwards, he pleads not guilty at the arraignment that was scheduled 2 weeks after the prelim. He had a pretrial conference yesterday and the first deal they gave him was 2 year, half time in state prison plus parole after release (this is to be convicted for terrorist threat). He pleads not guilty, but his "P.D." said it's a take it or leave it deal. My brother requested for some time to think about the deal. So, his next pretrial conference is in 4 weeks. The jury trial date is set 3 weeks after his next pretrial conference.
Each case is different and no case has a set number of pretrials that are established before heading to trial. A number of things can determine how many pretrials a case may have. For example, is each side prepared to move forward to trial, is there outstanding discovery, will a motion be heard, etc? Your brother needs to speak to his attorney to get a better sense of what will happen next. Best of luck.
That schedule sounds about right. Your brother needs to make up his mind by discussing his case with his attorney. He may have shot himself in the foot by declining the "take it or leave it" deal offered today.
SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY--20 years experience
A defendant may enter a plea of not guilty or no contest at any time prior to the reading of a jury (or judge in a bench trial) verdict in court. The court, not the prosecutor, decides what the defendant will be allowed to plea to and what the punishment will be.
The fact that the court continued the pretrial conference 4 weeks to allow your brother time to consider the deal suggests to me that the offer is not "off the table" despite the fact that the public defender said he had to "take it our leave it." Your brother should insist on an more detailed explanation from his P.D. of the advantages, drawbacks and consequences of taking the plea.
The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal questions can only be fully answered through consultation with an attorney to whom you give full and accurate details. Anything you post here is not confidential and is not protected by the attorney-client relationship. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting.
There is no statutory limit to the number of Pre-Trial Conferences, however, post-prelim, the Court will set a Jury Trial date and, depending on the availability/impacted calendar of the Trial Court, it might be difficult to continue the Jury Trial Date. So, in your brother's case, he might have only 2 Pre-Trials. The "take it or leave it" expression by the P.D. should be taken seriously. Since it is a felony, the P.D. is experienced enough to know when a deal is final or not. Time to think about the deal may end at the next Pre-Trial. Your brother should be ready to close the deal or proceed to Trial.
Best of luck to your brother.
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