Settlement can happen all the way up to, and in some instances during trial. If the defendant is pushing the case to trial, and has waived time, this process can be lengthy. While some prosecutors might have a policy of withdrawing plea offers at a certain point, the fact is both sides usually want to settle. 6 readiness conferences sounds like a lot and wouldn't typically happen in LA. Typically a felony case will have an arraignment (on the complaint), a first settlement conference, then the preliminary hearing, then another arraignment (on the information), then another settlement conference. Once the case gets close to trial, there are more frequent court dates and cases often settle at that time.
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there is no set answer. Generally in a criminal case after an arraignment is completed a pre-trial hearing will be calendared to discuss the case and see if a pre-trial resolution can be reached. If not the matter will often be put on to set for trial. This can always be adjusted if particular issues are present in the case (ex competency hearings, etc.)
We don't have readiness conferences in SF; we have pretrial conferences at which time the parties attempt to negotiate a resolution to the case. 1-3 is normal but 6 sounds excessive. That said if the defendant has waived time there is no reason there cannot be 6 more.
As a victim, you have no ability to force the court to bring the defendant to trial. Continuances are in the discretion of the court. Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to a fair trial with effective representation of counsel, which includes the right to be adequately prepared.
You could contact the district attorney and tell him your situation. The DA could use this information to argue that another continuance should not be granted. However, because the defendant has a constitutional right to an adequate defense, the court is unlikely to refuse a continuance request if the defendant's attorney asserts that he needs more time to prepare.
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