Explains Arraignment and Pre-Trial Conferences
Purav Bhatt, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, has been handling criminal cases in Cook County for over a decade. He has built strong relationships with Judges and Prosecutors throughout the Courthouse.
Each defendant in custody is entitled to a detailed, rigorous hearing on whether they pose a danger to others if released pretrial. This is a fundamental tenet of the law.
The arraignment is the first appearance in court where the defendant is read the charges and asked to enter a plea. During the arraignment the prosecutor will make it clear that their main interest is to get a conviction and may try to convince you that your only chance is to accept a plea bargain. This is why it is so important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side at this early stage of the case.
It is also during arraignment that bail will be set. Most courts will set a reasonable amount based on the facts and circumstances of your case. If the judge finds that there are exceptional circumstances they may decide to not set bail at all.
The court will then notify the defendant of their rights, including their right to a trial and the right to have an attorney appointed if they can’t afford one. At this point the ADA will give the defense lawyer copies of any and all evidence that they intend to use in the case, including police reports, witness statements and any physical evidence such as DNA or lab reports.
James Dimeas has been handling cases in Cook County for 27 years and knows that each of the Courthouses operate a little differently and it is to the defendant’s advantage to have an attorney that can navigate these nuances from the very beginning. He makes it a point to stay in contact with his clients and answer all of their questions.
Being arrested or charged with a criminal offense is one of the most unsettling and daunting experiences an individual can face. This is especially true when the charges are serious, such as a felony. It is important to contact an aggressive Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately after an arrest or charge in Cook County, Illinois, to begin working on your case.
The discovery process involves pretrial procedures that allow each side to gather facts from the other through interrogatories, requests for admissions, documents, and depositions. This information-gathering tool is critical to developing a strategy for trial. It is also a valuable opportunity to identify any missing evidence that must be produced before trial.
During the discovery process, our experienced Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney will work to get all of the evidence that is necessary to protect your rights. It is important to always answer questions truthfully. Lying in a deposition or interrogatory can be caught and cause serious problems for your case.
As a former prosecutor, Mr. Weisberg understands how the other side thinks and will use this knowledge to your advantage. He is a tough, tenacious attorney with an outstanding track record of success. His past clients have been acquitted on major homicide and sex crimes cases and spared from decades in prison.
When the prosecutors are ready to review your case, they schedule a pre-trial conference date. This date is usually scheduled for the next court appearance after your arraignment. At this time, the city prosecuting attorney and your criminal defense lawyer meet to discuss ways to resolve your case without going to trial. The prosecutors must provide your attorney with any evidence that they intend to use at trial, such as police reports and surveillance footage.
Sometimes, the prosecutors and your criminal defense attorney are able to reach a deal that reduces or drops some charges or recommends a lesser sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. If they are unable to work out a deal, then your attorney will let the judge know that you need a trial.
Unfortunately, the Cook County Public Defender’s Office does not have enough resources to ensure that all defendants are fully and adequately represented. This problem is caused by a combination of factors, including budget discrepancies between the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office. The only way to address this issue is to increase funding to the Public Defender’s Office. This would allow for better training and resources, which would lead to greater expertise and thoroughness in defending clients against the State’s prosecution.