Arraignments are held in Superior Court. At the arraignment, the court
will enter a “not guilty” plea on your behalf and will ensure
that you have an attorney representing you on your case. The Court will
also assign your case to a trial judge and set your upcoming court dates.
The next court date is an Initial Pretrial Conference.
The Court will set a number of pretrial hearings before your case proceeds
to trial. The settings may include all or some of the following: Initial
Pretrial Conference (IPTC), Comprehensive Pretrial Conference (CPTC),
Status Conference, Settlement Conference, and Trial Management Conference (TMC).
Some cases are designated as ‘complex cases’ under the Arizona
Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Examples of complex cases are:
These cases are often assigned to ‘special assignment judges’
who closely monitor the progress of the case by holding Complex Case Management
Conferences (CMC) every 45 days.
A trial is a court proceeding where the prosecutor must prove “beyond
a reasonable doubt” that you committed the crime charged. Your attorney
will have an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and evidence to
tell your story.
Felony trials are heard by a jury unless you, your
Phoenix criminal defense attorney, and the prosecutor agree to have your case presented to a judge (bench trial).
If you enter into a plea agreement or if you go to trial and a jury (or
judge, if a jury has been waived) finds you guilty, you will have a sentencing
date set approximately one month later. Before the sentencing date, you
will meet with a probation officer who will prepare a report for the judge.
The report will have a sentencing recommendation for your case. Talk to
your attorney about this process before you meet with the probation officer.
In addition, provide your attorney with references and other mitigation
that your attorney can present to the court at your sentencing.
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