The first step is an initial appearance or arraignment
The first appearance that is required is called the arraignment. The person is asked to enter a plea. If the plea is guilty, then sentencing is given or scheduled for another date. if the plea is not guilty, the matter is scheduled for a pretrial conference and a trial can be scheduled. However, the trial is usually scheduled at a pretrial conference.
The next step is the Pretrial conference
A pretrial conference is a meeting where the attorney or the accused (if representing self) have an opportunity to meet with the prosecutor. There are several things that can happen here. If the parties do not negotiate the case to a lesser charge or an arrangement, the matter will be set for motion hearings or a trial. Sometimes the case can be dismissed if the prosecutor becomes convinced that his case is not very good. Sometimes the case is continued or rescheduled to another date for purposes of further investigation of the issues.